Britain's national security will be at greater risk if Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader of the Labour party, George Osborne has said.
The Chancellor said “an unholy alliance of Labour's left-wing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists” would undermine the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
Both Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP oppose the renewal of Trident which the current Conservative government and previous Labour leaders have supported.
Earlier this month, the Labour leadership contender called for Britain's nuclear disarmament at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) event to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Writing in the Sun in an article linked to the announcement of a £500m grant for the ROyal Navy's submarine base at Faslane, Mr Osborne rejected the idea that the Conservatives were delighted at Corbyn’s emergence as the favourite to win the leadership saying the contest should not be seen as a joke.
Labour leadership: The Contenders
Labour leadership: The Contenders
1/2 Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn started off as the rank outsider in the race to replace Ed Miliband and admitted he was only standing to ensure the left of the party was given a voice in the contest. But the Islington North MP, who first entered Parliament in 1983, is now the firm favourite to be elected Labour leader on September 12 after a surge in left-wing supporters signing up for a vote.
2/2 Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham started out as the front-runner in the leadership election, seen as the candidate of the left until Jeremy Corbyn entered the race. The former Cabinet minister has found himself squeezed between the growing populism of Corbyn’s radical agenda and the moderate, centre-left Yvette Cooper, not knowing which way to turn. It has attracted damaging labels such as ‘flip-flop Andy’, most notably over his response to the Government’s Welfare Bill. He remains hopeful he can win enough second preference votes to take him over the 50 per cent threshold ahead of Corbyn.
He wrote: “On the contrary, I think we should take it deadly seriously.
“For the new unilateralists of British politics are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security. We’re going to take on their dangerous arguments and defeat them.”
The Faslane grant will safeguard 6,700 jobs at the Scottish site and create thousands more, according to the Chancellor.
The cash will be spent on repairing ship lifts, sea walls and jetties at the base, which will be home to the nuclear Astute and Successor submarines, their crews and engineers until at least 2067. From 2020, Faslane will be the navy’s ‘Submarine Centre of Specialisation’ – all of the UK’s underwater capability will be located in Scotland.
Writing about Mr Corbyn’s likely victory in the Labour leadership Mr Osborne said it would shatter the decades long consensus in Westminster over the need for a nuclear deterrent.
The only breakdown in this agreement was during the 1980s when Labour was dominated by the left under the leadership of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, Mr Osborne explained.
He continued: “Now that consensus, which is so important for our security and reliability as an ally, risks being shattered again by an unholy alliance of Labour’s left-wing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists.
“This isn’t an argument about the past – the return of the unilateralists to British politics threatens our nation’s future security. In a world that’s getting more dangerous it would be disastrous for Britain to throw away the ultimate insurance policy that keeps us free and safe.”Reuse content