The mum of a Barnsley man killed fighting against Islamic State has spoken of her pride in her son for wanting to ‘make a difference’.
Vasilika Scurfield, from Royson, spoke in Parliament about her 25-year-old son Konstandinos, an ex-Royal Marine who travelled to Syria to fight alongside Kurdish forces against IS.
She said her son wanted to protect the ‘fundamental rights of every human being’ and said he was ‘supporting British values’ when he died.
His coffin was handed over to his family in a ceremony involving hundreds of Syrian Kurds on Saturday.
In her speech at Parliament, Mrs Scurfield said her son left the Royal Marines to join Kurdish fighters.
“Kosta was not a mercenary. He wasn’t an out-of-work soldier looking for an adventure or something to do to pass the time,” she added.
“Kosta was determined to make a difference and although this is not a way that many of us would have had him choose, it was the way he considered the best for him and I am proud of him for finding the courage to do this.
“In other words he was a humanitarian who, in his own words, wanted to help.
In a message to British voters ahead of May’s general election, Mrs Scurfield said: “If you are feeling politically apathetic but have strong feelings about self-titled IS, then here is a cause and a clear reason to get involved.”
She urged voters to ask candidates a range of questions including what they planned to do about IS and why Britain had not given more support to Kurdish fighters.
“Let’s stop standing by and let’s instead think creatively about grinding down and putting out the biggest threat to the world since the Nazis,” she added.