A Conservative MP has said there is ‘too much focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ during a backbench debate on the UK’s role in the Middle East.

John Howell

John Howell MP

John Howell, MP for Henley, made his comments as other members wrestled with the possibility of airstrikes against Islamic State.

Speaking about stability of the wider Middle East region Howell said not all conflicts have been viewed equally.

“Part of the reason why we are at this current state is because too much focus, rather than too little focus, has been placed on the Israeli Palestinian conflict at the expense of other conflicts in the region,” he said.

He had commented earlier in the debate: “Sadly it has taken the tragedy of Paris to open our eyes to the fact that this a problem that we cannot afford to ignore any longer. If Isil is allowed to fester we will see a continuation of the ethnic cleansing, indoctrination of future generations in Isil-held territory and thousands more displaced Syrians and Iraqis.

“I therefore welcome the fact that the Government is hopefully putting the question of British intervention in Syria to the vote this week in the House.”