Hague rules out second Syria vote, Sentamu says military action 'unwise'

By staff writers
September 2, 2013

The UK government's foreign secretary, William Hague, has ruled out a re-run of the House of Commons vote on military action in Syria.

Meanwhile, Anglican Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, told the BBC television 'Andrew Marr Show' that he did not think it was "wise" to take military action in Syria, saying it was "important to wait for the weapons inspectors' report".

Hawks such as Chancellor George Osborne, former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and ex-paratrooper Lord Paddy Ashdown, a past Liberal Democrat leader, had been seeing President Obama's decision to go to Congress as an opportunity to seek a change of mind in the Westminster Parliament.

But Mr Hague, speaking to BBC Radio 4's World This Weekend programme on Sunday 1 September 2013, said: "I don't think on any issue the government can go back to parliament every few days, or every week with the same proposition, and our proposition already included waiting for the UN weapon inspectors to report, to discuss things at the Security Council, that was already built into our proposal.

"So on this particular issue that we voted for on Thursday... can we go back in the coming days and have that vote again, well no. We can't do that. Parliament has spoken," he added.

Archbishop Sentamu, who has paraded his respect for the military in the past, being photographed in the media driving a tank, was nevertheless circumspect about military action against Syria in his BBC interview.

"Wherever there is war it's a sign of sin... it always creates evil, but sometimes not to go to war creates a greater evil," he suggested.

Other churches and Christian peace groups have been more forthright in their opposition to the drift to further war in the Middle East and North Africa.

* More on Syria from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/syria

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