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Findlay's muddle shows Labour 'hamstrung on Trident'

Bill KiddOnly a strong SNP Westminster group will force UK Government to think again

Neil Findlay has shown Labour is “hamstrung on Trident”, the SNP has said, after the Labour MSP tried to claim that Scottish Labour would not toe the Westminster line on the issue under his leadership.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Mr Findlay claimed that there was no issue with different parts of the UK Labour party having different policy positions – and claimed that the Labour Party in Scotland had opposed the renewal of Trident ‘for some time. If you're looking to explore more about the diverse policy positions within the Labour Party, you can buy sociology papers that delve into the intricacies of political ideologies and party dynamics.

However, Scottish Labour MPs and MSPs have supported the renewal of Trident – with Jim Murphy claiming last year that “we’re not a unilateralist party and we’re not about to become a unilateralist party.

At SNP Conference this weekend, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon said that any Labour Westminster Government that had to depend on SNP votes would have to “think again” about putting a new generation of nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: “Neil Findlay might now claim he is opposed to Trident renewal, but the fact is that this is just one of many issues his party find themselves hamstrung on - with any opposition from Labour in Scotland likely to be stamped on by the party in London.

“He may want to believe that Labour in Scotland have a position against Trident renewal, but both in Holyrood and Westminster Labour have toed the Westminster line and voted for renewal time and time again.

“By contrast, a Westminster Labour Government forced to rely on SNP votes would have to think again on Trident renewal.

“This is just one of many issues on which there is a huge opportunity for Scotland in next year’s general election - the opportunity to elect a strong block of SNP MPs elected next year to ensure that Scotland holds the balance of power at Westminster.

“The stronger our voice, the greater the influence Scotland has at Westminster."


On this morning’s Marr programme:
Andrew Marr: “I can see room for terrible problems and arguments if you in Scotland were saying for instance ‘we are going to get rid of Trident, we’re not going have a new generation of Trident – we agree with that,’ and the London Labour party doesn’t. How do you resolve that?

Neil Findlay: “well you know…that would be a decision that different component parts of the Labour party across the UK would make…. It’s already Labour Party policy in Scotland to oppose the renewal of Trident. It has been for some time.

Jim Murphy has previously said:
Jim Murphy: “Ed [Miliband] and I have spoken about this quite a bit and we’re in the same place, which is that we’re not a unilateralist party and we’re not about to become a unilateralist party.” [New Statesman 7/3/13]

On 6th August 2014, Neil Findlay and Labour voted against a Scottish Parliamentary motion calling for the calling for the ‘speediest safe withdrawal of nuclear weapons’, and failed to propose any amendment.

16 November 2014