Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

Defence

Thank you to those who have contacted me about military action in Syria. I have received a great many communications from people across Bedford and Kempston about this issue and I appreciate every individual taking the time to share their views on the subject.

I also thank those who were able to attend the public meeting I held at St Cuthbert’s Hall on Sunday 29th November. There was a considerable range of views expressed at that meeting and all views were heard respectfully and thoughtfully – a credit to our town. The mood of that meeting was summed up well by local resident, Kate Allen who said “if the government decides to extend bombing then we, the people of Bedford, because of harmony and diversity have a special opportunity to “lean in” and show ISIS that nothing can divide us. We can be a model of holding the complexity and tensions in unity.”

As you will be aware, Parliament was asked on Wednesday to vote to extend authorisation for RAF airstrikes against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq to include strikes in Syria.

I supported the motion and I would like to outline my thoughts on the issue.
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“Don’t let Da’esh divide us” was the call from Richard Fuller’s public meeting held on Sunday at St Cuthbert’s Hall which posed the question: “Syria. Terrorism. What should be the UK government’s response?”

Addressing an audience of over 80 local residents, Richard laid out a range of facts on the situation in Syria – military actions, diplomatic efforts, humanitarian support and atrocities by Da’esh – before opening the floor to comments and questions.

Many residents voiced concern at the use of violence – including bombing by the UK – but all acknowledged how complex the issues were facing the Syrian people.

Domestic security issues also featured with Kathryn Holloway amongst those calling on Richard to ensure Bedfordshire police had adequate counter terrorism resources to keep us safe.

Contributions included those from local residents who had special knowledge of the region from diplomatic, military or humanitarian service in the region. Richard said it was an honour to represent such a special town that could bring together people with such wide and personal experiences of Syria and with such compassionately held views.

Richard Fuller is calling a public meeting to give local residents the opportunity to discuss the following question:

“Syria. Terrorism. What should the UK Government’s response be?”

The meeting will be held at 4.30pm on Sunday 29th November at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Newnham Street, Bedford.

If you would like to attend, please email Richard at richard.fuller.mp@parliament.uk

Richard has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement today that veterans of the Arctic Convoy will be awarded their own medal, while members of Bomber Command will receive a medal clasp as recognition of the vital roles that they played during World War Two.

Arctic Convoy veterans, including some residents of Bedford, have long been fighting for their own campaign medal. Last December, Richard wrote to the Prime Minister on behalf of local constituents to press for recognition of those who served on the Arctic Convoys.

Richard said: “We owe an immense debt of gratitude to the brave sailors who served on the arctic convoys in almost unimaginable conditions. Ensuring that supplies reached our allies in Russia was an incredibly important part of the war effort and I am pleased that these veterans will now get the official recognition that they deserve.”

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