Burma — Cyclone Nargis — 14 May 2008 at 16:05
The majority of MPs voted against the motion:
- This House
- is gravely concerned by the immense suffering and damage caused in Burma by Cyclone Nargis;
- notes that 200,000 people may have died and that two million people lack access to healthcare, clean water and sanitation, food and shelter;
- salutes the work of the Department for International Development's staff and British NGOs, including Save the Children and Merlin, in responding to the disaster;
- is further deeply concerned by the restrictions placed on the international humanitarian relief effort by the government of Burma; asserts that the international relief effort is motivated solely by humanitarian concerns;
- calls on the government of Burma immediately to grant unrestricted access for the international humanitarian effort, including the delivery of aid supplies, and the admittance and free movement of aid workers;
- further calls on the UN Secretary General to visit Burma immediately to make clear the united desire of the international community to secure access for the international relief effort;
- further calls on China, India, Thailand and other countries with influence over the Burmese regime to make every possible effort to persuade the Burmese government to allow the international relief effort full access;
- prefers that humanitarian action should be supported by the government of Burma and believes that this approach is more likely to be successful but concludes that the international community has a responsibility to protect the Burmese people and should consider all options for getting help to those who need it, including using direct aid drops.
An alternative motion was proposed in its place:
- This House
- notes with horror the devastating impact of Cyclone Nargis upon the people of Burma;
- recognises the vast scale of humanitarian assistance needed urgently to prevent further loss of life;
- is appalled at the unacceptably slow pace at which the Burmese authorities have so far allowed in international expertise for the relief effort, and at their lack of capacity to distribute aid to the affected areas;
- calls upon the Burmese authorities to allow immediate and unfettered access for both the delivery of aid and for its distribution inside Burma;
- strongly welcomes the UK Government's initial £5 million pledge to the relief effort for emergency items;
- strongly supports the UK Government's exchanges with key international partners in order to bring about a concerted international effort for access for humanitarian assistance;
- in this regard, welcomes the visit to countries in the region by Ministers from the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
- urges countries in the region to increase their efforts to persuade the Burmese authorities to allow in unfettered international assistance and to ramp up the delivery of aid; and
- strongly supports continued efforts of the United Nations to secure access and ensure aid is delivered to those in need.
which passed without a further vote.
The lack of substantive difference between the two motions was noted during the debate, and it's difficult to understand why it had to be this way.
-  Andrew Mitchell MP, House of Commons, 14 May 2008
-  Douglas Alexander MP, House of Commons, 14 May 2008
-  Jeremy Wright MP, House of Commons, 14 May 2008
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||126 (+2 tell)||0||66.7%|
|Lab||250 (+2 tell)||0||0||71.8%|