Shadow Defence Secretary Maria Eagle criticised party leader Jeremy Corbyn for saying he would instruct defence chiefs never to use the UK’s Trident missiles.
In a wide-ranging speech that called for “a kinder politics” and “a more caring society”, Jeremy Corbyn said he was opposed to Britain’s nuclear weapons and insisted more refugees should be welcomed into the country.
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said he had a “different view” to his party leader on the nuclear deterrent. After Labour was heavily defeated, it shifted position to support nuclear weapons.
Britain would effectively suspend its nuclear deterrent if Labour wins in 2020 – because such weapons can only be unleashed with the agreement of the Prime Minister.
On Trident, Mr Corbyn made it clear he was against nuclear weapons and wanted to see Britain take a lead in getting rid of them.
“People will say I’m sucking up to you or being soft – but people will say your outlook is “a bit hippy”, declared the Sky News man, who seemed embarrassed to ask tough or political questions beyond, “Why don’t you just admit you hate the Tories!”
“My views on nuclear weapons are very well known – I have a strong moral objection to nuclear weapons”, he told Tom Bradby.
“I do not think we should be renewing Trident”.
“We share Labour’s aim of ensuring the benefits of growth are spread more evenly across the United Kingdom, but we don’t recognise Mr Corbyn’s characterisation of the economy”, said John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. Corbyn does not believe that it should be renewed because the Cold War “finished a long time ago”. I don’t think anyone in their right minds would want to get to a situation where it would be used. “I believe it is possible”.
He added: “Is this the moment to drop our defences?”
As far as I’m concerned we start from the policy we have and at the end of the process the party will decide what its policy is.
Although following the near wipe-out of Scottish Labour MPs at the General Election, there is now only one, Ian Murray, at Westminster, introducing a Scottish whip controlled from Holyrood would be an attempt to underscore the autonomous nature of Scottish Labour.
“There were 350 words sent in by a friend of mine which he was actually not aware we were thinking about using (and) we did use. We will force people like Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon and Google and all the others to pay their fair share of taxes”, he said to loud applause, as Reuters reported.
The unconventional 66-year-old leader did differentiate himself from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives by criticizing the government’s austerity program as unneeded and unfair to working people.