Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning says the government’s defeat on a proposal to take military action against Syria is the start of a process of regaining the public’s trust.
The last-minute motion was brought before Parliament by Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday in response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.
The motion was opposed by opposition leader Ed Miliband, and most MPs voted against it. Mr Penning, who backed the motion, says the defeat has not damaged the government’s authority.
He said: “What damaged the government’s authority was the Iraq debacle.”
US president Barrack Obama also backs military intervention in Syria, but on Saturday took the unprecedented step of allowing the US Congress to vote on the matter.
Mr Penning said: “The president has the powers to go it alone, as we do – but we have to listen to the fall-out from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
He said the ‘dodgy dossier’ used to justify the war on Iraq had damaged the public’s trust in their government.
He said: “We need to rebuild that trust, and to do that we need to bring the people along with us.”
He agreed that it was now right for the UK not to intervene in the Syria crisis.
He said: “If you believe in parliamentary democracy – which I passionately do – that’s the right decision to abide by.”