Jeremy Corbyn's "entire credibility on the line" over Trident, says SNP

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 28 September 2015 in News

Party members vote not to select a motion on scrapping the UK's nuclear deterrent for an emergency debate

The SNP has accused Jeremy Corbyn of putting his “entire credibility on the line” following news that the Labour party will not vote on Trident at its conference.

Party members yesterday voted not to select a motion on scrapping the UK's nuclear deterrent for an emergency debate shortly despite Corbyn agreeing to give his shadow cabinet a free vote on Trident in Westminster.

The move came after the Unite and GMB unions announced they would not back any moves to end Trident.


Exclusive Q&A with Jeremy Corbyn

​Scottish CND's coordinator John Ainslie: 'Trident renewal is a risk to the public'

SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: “Jeremy Corbyn's entire credibility is on the line as Labour become mired in confusion on Trident.  So many of the people who backed him to be Labour leader did so on the basis of his anti-Trident stance - now barely two weeks into the job, it appears he's shying away from the debate.

“If Jeremy Corbyn cannot change Labour's position on Trident, he will either have to vote in favour of Trident renewal against his own long-held views, or we will be faced with the farcical situation of the Labour leader defying his own party whip.

“Labour no longer appears to have a coherent position on anything, and while they remain such a deeply divided party, SNP MPs will get on with the job of providing real opposition to the Tories at Westminster.”

Gary Smith, the GMB's acting Scottish secretary, told the BBC it is “not an academic debate for the coffee shops of north London” because thousands of jobs depended on the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde.

Mr Corbyn said: "This is an open and democratic party and the members at conference have decided to discuss the issues that they want to debate this week.

"These are important issues like the NHS, the refugee crisis, mental health and housing."

The call for a debate on the renewal of Trident was backed by just 0.16 per cent of the trade union vote, with support among constituency Labour parties at 7.1 per cent.

Labour MP John Woodcock told PoliticsHome: “It is good that Labour members have rejected the CND left's plan to prioritise returning the party to the days of the 1980s and unilateral nuclear disarmament.

“This is a welcome sign that many rank-and-file Labour supporters want to keep us focused on the immediate concerns of the public rather than re-running old battles that risk splitting Labour apart.”



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