Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn to speak at CND rally with Nicola Sturgeon in London

Jeremy Corbyn sparks fresh infighting in Labour by confirming he WILL speak at CND rally with Nicola Sturgeon
He will join SNP leader and Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood at the rally
More than 9,000 people will march through central London on Saturday
Labour MPs criticise Corbyn's decision, saying it highlights party splits

Jeremy Corbyn has sparked fresh infighting in the Labour party by confirming today that he will speak at an anti-nuclear weapons rally in London this weekend.
The long-standing unilateralist will join SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and the Green party's Caroline Lucas at the 'Stop Trident' rally on Saturday.
The decision has caused anger from Labour MPs, who said it will further highlight the party's divisions at a time when it should be focussing on making the case for staying in the EU.
Mr Corbyn will rush back from the Yorkshire and Humber regional Labour conference to speak at the rally, which is being organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
More than 9,000 people are expected to attend the event, which starts at midday from Hyde Park and will end in Trafalgar Square.
The Labour party is deeply split over whether to renew Trident, Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Last month Mr Corbyn replaced the pro-Trident Maria Eagle with the firm unilateralist Emily Thornberry as Shadow Defence Secretary, putting her in charge of the review of the party's defence policy.
It has led to accusations that the 'open minded' review will be prejudiced in favour of backing an anti-Trident policy.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, where much of the work for the new submarines will take place if MPs give the go ahead for the renewal, said Mr Corbyn's decision to attend Saturday's anti-Trident rally was an unnecessary distraction for the Labour party.
He told MailOnline: 'Aside from being another sign that the 'open minded' review of defence policy is nothing of the sort, Jeremy's choice to speak at the CND rally just ensures another weekend of public focus on Labour's divisions over a policy we can't change when we should be holding the government to account and making the case to remain in the European Union.'

Jeremy Corbyn wants to change Labour's pro-Trident policy in time for the upcoming vote in the House of Commons on renewing the four submarines that carry the Trident warheads (one of which is pictured docked in Faslane, Scotland
Earlier this week Ms Thornberry caused jitters in her party and army chiefs by refusing to commit Labour to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
She backed a future defence policy increasingly based on capabilities dubbed 'geeks, spooks and thugs' - cyber experts, spies and special forces - as she questioned whether nuclear submarines would provide long-term value for money.
Ms Thornberry condemned cuts to the Army as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), claiming it was now 'at its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars', while the Royal Navy's fleet had been reduced and the RAF was relying on 40-year-old Tornados.
But asked whether her policy review would include the commitment to meeting the Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, she said: 'I can't say at the moment, I'm afraid. Also, a big question is what do you include in the 2 per cent?'
Ms Thornberry also outraged MPs in her party earlier this month when she compared Britain's state-of-the-art nuclear deterrent to World War Two spitfires.
It led to warnings by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham that the party may never be able to resolve its differences on Trident as he urged his party to move on from its constant infighting on the issue.
Currently the party's policy is officially to support the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent and it survived an attempt by the leader to change the policy at the Labour party conference last autumn.
The leadership wants to change the party's policy in time for the upcoming vote in the House of Commons on renewing the four submarines that carry the Trident warheads, which is estimated to cost £31billion.
Mr Corbyn caused more fury last month when he recommended a middle-way option that would put Britain's nuclear submarines at sea without them carrying any nuclear warheads, arguing that this would avoid thousands of job losses.
It emerged last week that Labour is to consider replacing Trident submarines with a cheaper, aircraft-based nuclear deterrent.
The proposals, drafted originally for a Liberal Democrat think tank, will be considered by Ms Thornberry.
The plan would see nuclear submarines ditched and replaced with a new system of air-dropped nuclear weapons, a type of deterrent last relied on by Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.
Its supporters say it would save the taxpayer up to £13billion while taking Britain 'a step down the nuclear ladder'.
Backbench Labour MPs reacted with disbelief to the proposal, which comes just weeks after Jeremy Corbyn said he would like to deploy 'submarines without nuclear weapons'.
Defence analyst and former RAF intelligence reservist Toby Fenwick will brief Miss Thornberry as part of her comprehensive review of Labour defence policy, it was reported last night.
His ideas were first published by the CentreForum think tank ahead of the 2015 general election and are set to be looked at by the Lib Dems' own ongoing review of Trident.
It would see 135 new F35C Joint Strike Fighter 'stealth' planes adapted for 'dual use' to deliver B61-12 nuclear bombs, and operate from air bases and the UK's two new aircraft carriers.
The planes could not provide round-the-clock capability but could mobilise rapidly in the event of nuclear crisis.
Under his plan, four new submarines to replace Trident would not be ordered.

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