Bedford hopes to stand united in face of terrorism

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford & Kempston.

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford & Kempston.

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“Don’t let Da’esh divide us” was the call from local MP Richard Fuller’s public meeting on “Syria. Terrorism. What should be the UK government response?”

At the event, held on Sunday (November 29), at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Mr Fuller 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.

From an audience of more than 80 Bedford residents, concerns were voiced over the use of violence - including bombing by the UK - but all acknowledged how complex were the issues facing the Syrian people.

Domestic security issues also featured with calls on Mr Fuller to ensure Bedfordshire police had adequate counter terrorism resources to keep us safe.

Contributions were made by residents who had special knowledge of the region from diplomatic, military or humanitarian service in the region.

Mr Fuller 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.

However, it was resident Kate Allen who summed up the mood of the evening: “If the government decides to extend bombing then we, the people of Bedford, have a special responsibility to “lean in” and show ISIS that nothing can divide us. We can be a model of holding the complexity and tensions in unity.”