Dr Julian Lewis: If the dreadful Assad regime is overthrown, as the Government wish, the Government will no doubt feel very pleased. However, how long will that pleasure last if the successor regime contains elements of al-Qaeda, which then gets its hands on the stocks of Syrian chemical weapons that are known to exist, and uses them against the west?

[The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Hugo Swire): My hon. Friend makes a valid point, although there are a lot of ifs in his question. The whole point of providing the additional aid is to bolster the opposition groups in Syria in order to prevent the country from sliding into the kind of anarchy that he describes.]