Tory MP condemns eighth investigation into army officer's role in death of Iraqi teenager

'Biggest foreign policy mistake of the decade was not taking military action in Syria', says MP Johnny Mercer

The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011

Friday, February 23, 2018

An MP and former army officer has condemned the decision to investigate an army officer  for the eighth time over the death of an Iraqi teenager.

Johnny Mercer also claimed it was "the biggest foreign policy mistake of the decade" not to take military action in Syria.

The Conservative MP made the comment while talking to Mike Graham and Katie Perrior, and said of the decision not to send the British Army into Syria: "I think there was some serious cowardice shown in the House Of Commons that night."

Major Robert Campbell was first cleared over the death of 19-year-old Said Shabram more than 10 years ago, but has been accused again of forcing him into a river, resulting in his drowning.

Mercer said: "I just fail to believe that you will find evidence for the eight time after seven times of looking that is going to dramatically change this case.

"There's a human element to this and I'm not prepared to stand by and let our servicemen and women be treated in this way.

"I just can’t believe that there’s not the political leadership and the political will, which is what this requires. There will always be a technical reason why these processes will go on forever but it requires political leadership and political strength to put an end to this and that's what I want to see."

On the Syria situation he said: "I wouldn't advocate going bulldozing into there now but we have to do something," he added. "We have to show that we stand for something."

He thinks the way to do this is "keep applying ourselves to this process and make sure Assad and Putin know we’re not going to go away and that we are going to continue to apply pressure until there is a resolution in Syria.

"I don't think we can then run away from the world stage… I do think the world is still looking for Britain to play a role.

"I think we need to wake up from the hangover of Iraq and we need to push ever harder to stop what is a slaughter going on in Syria."

​Listen to the full interview above