James GRAY   Conservative MP for North Wiltshire

2017 01 11 James Gray MPDuring yesterday’s Questions to International Development Secretary in the House of Commons, North Wiltshire MP James Gray raised the plight of Syrians in Aleppo and Raqqa who were facing the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of modern times, and warned that very little progress to alleviate the suffering can be made without support from the United Nations and Russia. Mr Gray said:

“[T]he fact is that the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of modern times is taking place in Aleppo, Raqqa and Mosul today. [S]hould we not now admit that there is precious little that we in the liberal west can do to alleviate the appalling circumstances in Aleppo unless we have the support of the United Nations and Russia?”

Responding, Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Secretary of State for International Development, insisted that the UK was a leading provider of humanitarian support, and added that the Government was using all available diplomatic avenues. Mrs Patel said:

“In terms of the work that the Government are doing, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are leading in humanitarian assistance and support. People are in desperate need, and we have the right focus on giving them all the necessary support. The other point is diplomacy. It is the job of the Government to carry on putting on the pressure, and we must use all the avenues of international diplomacy to put that pressure on, where it is needed.”