Whilst MPs spoke for three hours in Parliament on Tuesday (October 11) about the "unspeakable evil" of the Syrian civil war, Aldershot's MP suggested spending foreign aid money on a new ship.

Sir Gerald Howarth, along with other Tory MPs, spent 90 minutes debating buying the Queen a new Royal yacht.

By stark coincidence, their debate went on at the exact moment colleagues were discussing the barrel bombing of civilian hospitals and aid convoys in Aleppo.

Tory MP Jake Berry claimed replacing the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997, would give Britain a glittering post-Brexit symbol of global trade.

'Got to find something good for the money'

Sir Gerald suggested the cost of the yacht should be split between the Ministry of Defence, the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, the Foreign Office - and one more.

This would be, "of course, the ‘rich as Croesus’ [an ancient King] Department for International Development.

"We’ve got to find something good to come out of the money there,” he said.

The department is charged with spending 0.7% of Britain's GDP on foreign aid.

'Cannot be in two places at once'

Sir Gerald told Get Hampshire that he stands by his comments, and although he would have liked to take part in the Syrian war debate, he'd already agreed to speak about the yacht.

"I would have liked to take part in the debate on Syria, but there was no guarantee that I would be called," he said.

"I cannot be in two places at the same time and I already agreed to do the debate on Britannia so I went to that and because I had personal experience of it in the past, I had something to debate."

The former defence minister also clarified that seeing the decommissioning of the Royal Britannia was "one of the darker moments of his political career".

He added: "I spoke to the foreign secretary [about Syria] face-to-face on Monday night - it's not as if I'm not up to speed."

'Get a grip'

Whilst we couldn't republish all of the tweets to Sir Gerald over the past couple of days - he's also suggested a 'trade war' with Germany (see below) - here's a couple of reactions...

Some supported him though...

And that 'trade war' tweet...

What do you think? Do we need a new Royal yacht? Write a letter to the editor by emailing aldershoteditorial@trinitymirror.com