Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn calls for nuclear disarmament at a CND event

His document outlining the policy says Britain has a 'moral duty' to get rid of Trident

Doug Bolton
Friday 07 August 2015 07:29 BST
Jeremy Corbyn speaks about his disarmament policy at a CND event in London
Jeremy Corbyn speaks about his disarmament policy at a CND event in London

Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has called for nuclear disarmament in Britain at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Corbyn, who has been MP for Islington North since 1983, made the call at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) event in London.

He said that he would not renew Britain's Trident system of nuclear weapons in Prime Minister, and revealed his wider disarmament plan in a document, entitled Plan for Defence Diversification.

The document says that Britain has a "moral duty, and strategic defence and international commitments, to make Britain and the world a safer place."

HMS Victorious, a Trident nuclear submarine, patrols the waters of the west coast of Scotland

"As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Britain should therefore give a lead in discharging its obligations by not seeking a replacement for Trident, as we are committed to 'accelerate concrete progress' towards nuclear disarmament."

Trident has recently been a contentious issue in British politics, with the SNP opposing a renewal.

However, in the run-up to the independnce referendum and the General Election, the SNP faced criticism that disarmament would damage jobs in Scotland, where Britain's fleet of nuclear submarines are based.

In his document, Corbyn said he would ensure that "jobs and skills are not just maintained, but also expanded."

He outlines the creation of a Defence Diversification Agency, to ensure that the thousands of workers who are employed in the nuclear and defence industries can transfer their skills to other areas.

The idea that Trident should be renewed has generally been agreed upon in politics in recent years - in the run up to the General Election, Ed Miliband was forced to dispel comments put forward by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon that he would "stab the United Kingdom in the back" by scrapping Trident as part of a deal with the SNP.

If Corbyn wins the leadership of the Labour party, it is likely that he will face similar accusations from the Government over his disarmament plan.

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