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Corbyn must not backtrack on pledge to scrap Trident

Brendan O'Hara MP

U-turn or weakness from leader will further damage Labour in Scotland

The SNP has today called on Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to show leadership and restate his anti-Trident credentials following the appointment of pro-Trident Maria Eagle MP to the position of Shadow Defence Secretary.

Jeremy Corbyn made a big play on being anti-Trident prior to the confirmation of him becoming Labour leader - but this is at odds with his appointment of Ms Eagle to the Labour front bench.

Ms Eagle has voted in favour of replacing Trident on numerous occasions. This follows comments by Mr Corbyn’s deputy leader Tom Watson who also has said he backs the Trident replacement programme.

Commenting, SNP Defence Spokesperson Brendan O’Hara, said: “Jeremy Corbyn has so far failed to give an early commitment that Labour MPs will join the SNP in voting against the £100 billion renewal of Trident.

“Mr Corbyn must restate his commitment to opposing Trident and ensure that the party he now leads do likewise, but the early indications - including the appointment of Maria Eagle to the position of Shadow Defence Secretary – suggest that he is wavering from his principled position.

“If Mr Corbyn and Labour have any hope of being treated seriously by the vast majority of voters in Scotland then he must restate his commitment to backing the SNP’s plan to scrap the replacement of Trident. Indeed, if he cannot many more people in Scotland are likely to conclude that independence is the only way to ensure getting rid of Trident.

Bill Kidd MSP, Co-President of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, added: “The idea that Westminster Tories and prominent Labour shadow ministers still think it is acceptable to base weapons of mass destruction just thirty miles from Scotland’s largest population centre is ludicrous.

“The people of Scotland sent a clear message to Westminster in May; we simply will not accept a new generation of these weapons.

“I believe that Jeremy Corbyn needs to be able to prove that he can influence the pro-nuclear MPs within the Labour Party to go for the removal of Trident from Scotland as soon as is safely possible.

Notes:

The Public Whip – Maria Eagle voting record on Trident: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Maria_Eagle&mpc=Liverpool%2C_Garston&house=commons&dmp=984

Tom Watson suggests he'll oppose Jeremy Corbyn over scrapping Trident - Politics live http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/sep/13/corbyn-prepares-his-shadow-cabinet-as-blunkett-and-mandelson-warn-of-labour-crisis-politics-live

Further notes:

Jeremy Corbyn: Time to say goodbye to Trident ... while safeguarding Scottish skills http://www.thenational.scot/news/jeremy-corbyn-time-to-say-goodbye-to-trident-while-safeguarding-scottish-skills.6097

14 September 2015
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