Senior Labour MP pledges the party will back Trident renewal

24 Apr 17

Labour’s election co-ordinator has said the party will back Trident renewal after the leader appeared to leave the party’s position on the nuclear programme in doubt.

Andrew Gwynne told ITV’s Good Morning Britain’s audience today that renewing the nuclear deterrent "absolutely will be in the manifesto" for 8 June election.

"Jeremy knows that trident is Labour party policy," he said. Although, leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared not to commit to nuclear deterrent renewal yesterday on the Andrew Marr show.

“We haven’t completed work on the manifesto yet, as you’d expect,” he said, when questioned on whether Trident renewal would be in the manifesto.

“We’re having that discussion within the Labour party and we will produce our manifesto early in May.”

Replacing Britain’s nuclear missile system could cost the public purse at least £205bn, claimed campaigning group the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament last year.

The Liberal Democrats have committed themselves to maintain a “credible” nuclear deterrent but would end the current system of continuous-at-sea deterrence in favour of gaps in patrols and irregular patrolling patterns.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:  “Our nuclear deterrent keeps us at the top table in this Post-Brexit world. All this means that Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister – he is a rare combination of being both weak and dangerous.
“If you say that you would never press the button, as Jeremy Corbyn seems to have suggested, that makes a mockery of having a deterrent or indeed sound defences.”

Farron reiterated his commitment to NATO, the EU and the United Nations and said “maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent” was necessary to assure the safety and security of the UK and its allies.

He added: "Our long term goal will always be a nuclear-free world, and we must use the UK's position to lead international efforts towards multilateral disarmament.”

Corbyn also announced yesterday he would introduce four UK-wide bank holidays if Labour win the upcoming general election.

He said he wants the holidays to be on the national patron saint days of St David’s Day on 1 March, St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, St George’s Day on 23 April and St Andrew’s Day on 30 November.

Corbyn said the UK had the fewest number of bank holidays of all G20 nations.

Currently, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10 – below the average for G20 countries which is 12.

“For years, Britain’s workers haven’t had a proper pay rise, with wages for most people still below 2007 levels,” he said.

“After seven years of painful austerity, our workers deserve a break.”

A spokesman for the Conservative party said: “The British economy would be on a permanent holiday if Mr Corbyn got near Downing Street.”

The Sunday Times reported yesterday a cap on energy bills would be at the heart of the Conservative general election manifesto.

Regulator Ofgem would be able to put a maximum price on energy for households, the publication reported, which could save average houholds up to £100 a year.

In interviews, prime minister Theresa May has insisted the Conservatives were a “lower tax party” opposed to Labour’s "natural instinct" to raise tax.


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