Caroline Lucas slams Corbyn’s leadership ahead of Trident vote

Posted On 18 Jul 2016 at 10:59 am

Brighton Pavilion’s Green MP Caroline Lucas has said Jeremy Corbyn has failed to make a convincing case for one of the causes he most believes in as the Labour Party splits yet again, this time over Trident renewal.

Trident Nuclear Submarine HMS Victorious by Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC/MOD

Trident Nuclear Submarine HMS Victorious by Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC/MOD

Today’s Parliamentary debate will see Labour MPs vote three different ways – Corbyn himself will vote against renewal, shadow foreign and defence secretaries Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis have called for MPs to abstain and leadership challenger Owen Smith says he will vote in favour.

The debate, on a decision which has already been made, has been called by the Tories in what Ms Thornberry and Mr Lewis say is an attempt to highlight divisions in the Labour Party.

Now, Green MP Ms Lucas, who as chair of Parliamentary CND will be voting against, says those divisions show that Mr Corbyn’s leadership is lacking.

She said today: “Labour’s position on Trident is as disappointing as it is confusing. For the first time in recent years we have a leader of the Labour Party who is against Trident renewal – yet he hasn’t even persuaded his own Shadow Cabinet to vote against spending billions of pounds on this cold war relic.

“Real leadership means making a convincing case for the causes you believe in and we just haven’t seen that on this issues from those at the top of Labour.

“This is a defining moment for our country, and those abstaining on this vote are, in effect, standing aside while Britain commits to being a nuclear weapons state for generations to come.

“I would urge MPs to vote against Trident today. These weapons are a cold war relic that do nothing to keep us safe, and divert resources away from where they’re really needed.”

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Or perhaps Jeremy understands the realities of life and the need to protect jobs and having a mulitlateralist approach that many CND members agree with, rather than living in a irresponsibly deluded unilaterlist world where we get rid of all our nuclear weapons and close all armed forces bases and turn them into nature reserves.

  2. Mark Strong Reply

    Unilateral NUCLEAR disarmament means just that – it’s about nuclear weapons, not all armed forces.

    In fact, less of the defence budget wasted on unusable nukes means more for equipment that actually might be useful for our defence & security. Which is why some senior defence people support it!

    Just one more point – there has been no progress on Multilaterism for many years. Maybe it’s time to think whether supporting it is actually achieving anything?

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      @Mark Strong – check the Green Party Policy online and be VERY afraid of the clueless, ideological policies that they, and their empress, want to introduce.

  3. Paul Chandler Reply

    So Mark, you want to get rid of a weapon that will never be used (Trident) and replace it with lots of weapons that will be used next time the UK embarks on a military adventure abroad.

    I am unimpressed by the arguments for cancelling Trident on cost grounds as we are committed to spend 2% of GDP on defence so if we cancel Trident then we will have to spend the money on something else.

  4. Robert Smith Reply

    Further, as signatories of the Non-Proliferation Nuclear treaty, nation-states already with nuclear weapons have a responsibility to disarm and renewal could in fact be illegal.

    Proliferation is a very real and present threat. Pretending that we have some special global status, that entitles us to nuclear weapons, whereas we expect other nation-states as lesser and not entitled to the same, completely undermines efforts to prevent proliferation.

    Even worse, is the trade unions, who don’t even argue for nuclear weapons on a basis of security but on a basis of jobs. The best chance of disarmament is a Labour Government and that Government could guarantee maintaining those jobs through re-skilling. There is plenty of need for major engineering works other than nuclear submarines. Factories and dry docks are adaptable with will, just look at the second world war and the adaptation of factories to produce military hardware. With will, that can be reversed.

  5. Dan Reply

    Erm, would you mind sourcing these quotes? Is it from a video interview or an article? Because Caroline Lucas certainly has spoken about Corbyn and Trident ahead of the vote, in fact she published an article on it earlier today, but the quotes are quite different from the ones you have published here.

    You quote Lucas as saying: “…he he hasn’t even persuaded his own Shadow Cabinet to vote against spending billions of pounds on this cold war relic.”

    What she says in her Huffington Post article is this: “…do Labour MPs really want to be pouring billions into this cold war relic?”

    Lucas then concludes her article by saying: “I’m proud to be walking through the voting lobby tonight together with my predecessor as Chair of Parliamentary CND, Jeremy Corbyn – something we’ve done many times before. I just hope that in the coming hours he makes a passionate and evidence-based case for scrapping Trident, and asks his Shadow Cabinet and MPs to vote to rid Britain of nuclear weapons.”

    Not quite ‘slamming’ Corbyn’s leadership, is it?

    The link is here.

    • Jo Wadsworth Reply

      Hi Dan,

      Those quotes were sent to us in a press release by her media officer yesterday morning.

  6. Philip Hilton Reply

    What a bunch of idiots, these are the scumbags that put everything else before the protection of Britain against outside threats, especially muslims and their hatred for the western way of life.

    • Robin Hislop Reply

      And Trident will help with an Islamic extremist threat how, exactly?

  7. Anon Reply

    I thought she was above all this mudslinging. Clearly, a second stint in Westminster is having a negative effect.

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