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Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali quits shadow cabinet over Iraq vote

PUBLISHED: 17:34 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:12 26 September 2014

Rushanara Ali

Rushanara Ali

Archant

Breaking: Rushanara Ali has resigned from her post as shadow education minister over parliament's decision to carry out air strikes in Iraq.

The Bethnal Green and Bow MP, who was elected in 2010, has stepped down from her position on the opposition front bench in order to abstain.

524 MPs voted for air strikes against the Islamic State this afternoon, with 43 against it.

Her resignation came in a letter to Labour leader Ed Miliband, which has been seen by the Press Association.

It reads: “There can be no doubt that the actions of Isil are horrific and barbaric and I share the revulsion that everyone in our country feels towards them.

“However, I am not confident that this military action will be effective in the short-term in just targeting the terrorists and not harming innocent civilians. Nor can I pretend to have any confidence that there is a credible long-term strategy to build up the capacity of the Iraqi army or that the potential impact on radicalisation in the UK has been properly thought through.

“Despite good intentions, too many mistakes have been made over the last decade and far too many people in conflict zones have had to pay a high price for misconceived actions by the UK and other countries.

“I appreciate the sincerity of Members of Parliament from all sides of the House who today support military action against Isil. I know that British Muslims stand united in the total condemnation of the murders that Isil have committed.

“However, there is a genuine belief in Muslim and non-Muslim communities that military action will only create further bloodshed and further pain for the people of Iraq.”

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