A Labour former defence minister has described leader Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that nuclear submarines could be retained without having to carry warheads at all times as “ill-informed”. Kevan Jones, who quit the Labour frontbench after pro-Trident Maria Eagle was removed from her shadow defence secretary role, warned that you cannot turn the nuclear deterrent “on and off like a tap”. He spoke as Ms Eagle’s replacement and Trident sceptic Emily Thornberry made her Commons debut at defence questions. Mr Corbyn’s plan appeared designed to win over trade unions who fear that scrapping Trident – as the Labour leader wishes – would destroy tens of thousands of jobs in the defence industry. Ms Thornberry, who is leading the party’s defence review, has confirmed she is looking at the “Japanese option” – retaining the capacity to build nuclear weapons without actually possessing them.
Herald 18th Jan 2016 read more »
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon will address a major anti-nuclear weapons demo in central London next month alongside trades union and party leaders. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which is organizing the Stop Trident demonstration, says the event could be the largest mobilisation against nuclear weapons in a generation. It has attracted the support of over twenty organisations, including War on Want, Greenpeace, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of the Earth, Quakers and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. CND says it has called the 27 February demo to oppose government plans ahead of a parliamentary decision later this year on whether or not to replace Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system. Nicola Sturgeon will join Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas MP, as well as Mark Serwotka from the PCS union and Christine Blower from the National Union of Teachers.
CND 18th Jan 2016 read more »
JEREMY Corbyn’s proposal to build a fleet of Trident submarines without nuclear warheads will “rip the Dockyard’s heart out”, a Plymouth MP has warned. The Labour leader told the Andrew Marr show that protecting defence jobs was his “first priority”, but said he was considering a “de-escalation” of Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines. His controversial comments have been jointly-ridiculed by the city’s Conservative politicians, who fear future job losses at the naval base. Gary Streeter, who represents South West Devon, urged the Labour Party to dispose of their “maverick leader” before national security is compromised. “This is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard in 20 years in frontline politics,” he said. “It would obviously be no deterrent at all and I am certain that it would quickly lead to the Trident submarine being phased out.
Plymouth Herald 18th Jan 2016 read more »
Any hopes by the leadership that it would defuse potentially the most divisive issue facing the party were quickly dashed as pro-Trident MPs rushed to pour scorn on the plan. John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow and Furness, where the replacement submarines will be built, said it was completely implausible. “Having a deterrent that has no ability to deter because it has no missiles is like having an army with broken rifles and no ammunition,” he said. “It is deeply frustrating because every day that we spend debating implausible schemes like this is a day we are not able to hold the Conservative Government to account.”
NW Evening Mail 18th Jan 2016 read more »