Sunday, 09 December 2018

MP sent threatening emails over ISIS vote

JOHN HOWELL received threatening emails after he voted for air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria.

JOHN HOWELL received threatening emails after he voted for air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria.

The Henley MP was one of 397 MPs who last week voted in favour of action with 223 against, saying it was the ?right thing to do?.

He said: ?I don?t see why, having taken a decision based on my own conscience, I should have emails which tell me of the unspeakable things that they are going to do to my children and indeed, if I had any, my grandchildren.

?There is no sense of triumphalism over the result. However, the decision was the right one.

?I had emails on the subject before the vote. Contrary to popular belief, by no means all of these were from those opposing air strikes. Yet those who wrote opposing the motion were characterised by two things. First, they assumed that because they had strong views, everyone else must hold the same view.

Accordingly, all I had to do was vote as they told me.

?Second, they believed that their conscience was stronger than mine. Neither of these was true and devalued the role of an MP. Moreover, I had taken the trouble to set out my thoughts on the motion well in advance.

?Many of the responses were particularly unpleasant or simply accused me of following a party line, ignoring the fact that this was a vote which showed considerable cross-party support.?

In 2012 Mr Howell was sent death threats after an email exchange about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with one of his constituents was posted on the internet.

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