Jeremy Corbyn rules out pressing the nuclear button

23 Apr

Labour spinners have been forced to step in and insist the party does support Britain’s nuclear deterrent after Jeremy Corbyn suggested he would never use it and might scrap it.

Mr Corbyn said using nuclear weapons would be a ‘disaster’ and said the essential renewal of Britain’s Trident submarines would be included in his defence review.

The shock claims came in a car crash interview in which Mr Corbyn also said he would stop all air strikes on Syria, refused to back a drone strike on the terror group’s leader and hinted at pulling UK troops out of Nato’s defence against Russia.

The Tories said it was clear ‘Jeremy Corbyn would refuse to strike against terrorists and dismantle our nuclear defences’.

Hours after the disastrous interview aired, a Labour spokesman said: ‘The decision to renew Trident has been taken and Labour supports that.’  

Mr Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he wanted a peaceful world but rebuffed a barrage of questions about real security threats facing Britain today

Mr Corbyn, who is a life-long opponent of nuclear weapons, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he would have an ‘immediate’ security and defence review if he takes power.

BLAIR HINTS AT RETURN TO POLITICS  

Tony Blair has hinted he could try for a stunning return to Parliament to lead the fight against Brexit as he said Labour voters should consider backing pro-EU Tories.

The former Prime Minister, who quit Westminster 10 years ago after a decade in No 10, admitted he felt ‘motivated’ to return to the front line.

He insisted Brexit was ‘bigger than party allegiance’ and said while he would vote Labour on June 8, voters should look at the choice on their own patch and back the best anti Brexit candidates – even if they were Tories.

The remarks prompted a former senior aide to Jeremy Corbyn to call for Mr Blair to be expelled from Labour. 

Asked if he would ever use nuclear weapons, Mr Corbyn said: ‘We want a secure and peaceful world. We achieve that by promoting peace, but also by promoting security.

‘Security comes from that process.’

Mr Corbyn was asked what he would write in his ‘letters of last resort’ to British submarine commanders. The letters dictate what the four Trident sub captains should do in the event of catastrophic war and they are cut off from London.

The Labour leader said he would tell them to do no more than ‘follow orders when given’. 

Asked a third time whether he would ever authorise the use of Trident, he said: ‘I have made clear my views on nuclear weapons, I have made clear there would be no first use of it, I have made clear any use of nuclear weapons is a disaster for the whole world.

‘Nuclear weapons are not the solution to the world’s security issues, they are the disaster of the world’s security issues if ever used.’ 

Mr Corbyn said he would 'suspend' strikes against ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq and insisted a political solution was needed 

Mr Corbyn said he would 'suspend' strikes against ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq and insisted a political solution was needed 

Mr Corbyn said he would ‘suspend’ strikes against ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq and insisted a political solution was needed 

Mr Corbyn told Marr he would have an 'immediate' security and defence review if he takes power

Mr Corbyn told Marr he would have an 'immediate' security and defence review if he takes power

Mr Corbyn told Marr he would have an ‘immediate’ security and defence review if he takes power

Asked if would tell US President Donald Trump Britain was no longer a nuclear power under his leadership, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I would say I want to talk to you, I want us to work together for a secure and peaceful world.’  

Questioned on whether he would cancel the renewal of Trident via the construction of new submarines, a £41billion scheme approved by MPs last year, Mr Corbyn said ‘all aspects of defence’ would be reviewed.

Mr Corbyn, pictured arriving at the BBC today, was already under fire from the Tories for being weak on national security 

Mr Corbyn, pictured arriving at the BBC today, was already under fire from the Tories for being weak on national security 

Mr Corbyn, pictured arriving at the BBC today, was already under fire from the Tories for being weak on national security 

He said: ‘We would look at the situation at that time.’

Mr Corbyn said he wanted to work with Nato leaders to build a ‘sensible relationship’ with Russia and added: ‘We need to de-escalate tensions around the world’. 

Pressed on whether he would bring home the 800 British troops recently sent to the Nato operation in Estonia, the Labour leader said: ‘We would keep those troops there for the moment but we would use the opportunity of a newly elected government to say look we want to reduce tensions.’

And on British air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I will say I want to see a process that brings about the end of the conflicts in both of those countries.

‘The only solution in Syria is a political one. There is no other way of getting it. There has to be a reconvening quickly of the Geneva peace process.

‘In the meantime, no more strikes, have the UN investigation into the war crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.’ 

Mr Corbyn suggested he could scrap the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent following a security review if he takes office 

Mr Corbyn suggested he could scrap the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent following a security review if he takes office 

Mr Corbyn suggested he could scrap the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent following a security review if he takes office 

Britain's nuclear deterrent is based on four submarines carrying Trident missiles 

Britain's nuclear deterrent is based on four submarines carrying Trident missiles 

Britain’s nuclear deterrent is based on four submarines carrying Trident missiles 

Mr Corbyn equivocated on whether he would order the RAF to kill the leader of ISIS with a drone strike if he was handed intelligence proving the terrorist’s location. 

He said: ‘What I would tell them is give me the information you have got, tell me how accurate that is and tell me what you think can be achieved.’

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was clear Mr Corbyn would refuse to strike terrorists 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was clear Mr Corbyn would refuse to strike terrorists 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was clear Mr Corbyn would refuse to strike terrorists 

He continued: ‘What is the objective here? Is the objective to start more strikes that may kill many innocent people as has happened or is the objective to get a political solution in Syria?

‘My whole point would be does this help to get a political solution in Syria?’ 

Mr Corbyn insisted he was not a ‘supporter’ of ISIS in ‘any way’. 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘This morning we learnt that Jeremy Corbyn would refuse to strike against terrorists, dismantle our nuclear defences and fail to control our borders.

‘Unless people turn out and vote Conservative, this man could be our Prime Minister in less than 7 weeks’ time – propped up by the SNP and Lib Dems in a coalition of chaos.

‘For strong and stable leadership as we approach Brexit and beyond it is critical to vote for Theresa May and her Conservative team on 8 June. Every vote in this election counts.’

Earlier, Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin launched the first salvo of what will be a deeply personal Conservative campaign against the Labour leader ahead of the June 8 election

Earlier, Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin launched the first salvo of what will be a deeply personal Conservative campaign against the Labour leader ahead of the June 8 election

Earlier, Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin launched the first salvo of what will be a deeply personal Conservative campaign against the Labour leader ahead of the June 8 election

Earlier, Sir Patrick McLoughlin launched the first salvo of what will be a deeply personal Conservative campaign against the Labour leader ahead of the June 8 election.

The Tory Party Chairman said voters could trust Theresa May to make the ‘uncomfortable’ decisions to keep Britain safe.

Mr Corbyn has been repeatedly criticised for being soft on terror. He appeared to hesitate over whether he backed police policy to shoot to kill terrorists last year.

The Labour leader has also come under fire for a history of meetings with senior figures in the IRA and Hamas.

‘There are decisions which prime ministers have to take and those people in authority have to take (which) are sometimes very uncomfortable,’ Sir Patrick said.

‘If they don’t take them, we’re at danger … I know that with Theresa May, she would take them. I’m not sure that Jeremy Corbyn would.’

Jeremy Corbyn backs the END of grammar schools as Labour plans for general elections become clear 

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like all grammar schools to become comprehensives.

The Labour leader said he did not ‘like’ selective schools and would support the end of the grammar system.

His intervention, in an interview today with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, sets up a big clash on domestic policy ahead of the June 8 election.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like all grammar schools to become comprehensives in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr today, pictured 

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like all grammar schools to become comprehensives in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr today, pictured 

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like all grammar schools to become comprehensives in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr today, pictured 

Expanding grammar schools is expected to be at the heart of the Conservative manifesto after Theresa May put them at the centre of her vision for Britain.

Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr if he supported all grammars becoming comprehensives, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I would like them to be.’ 

The Labour leader said the type of schools available should be a local decision. 

Labour’s pitch to voters today is dominated by a promise for four new bank holidays to mark the nation’s saints days.

Under the plan, it would make tomorrow a bank holiday for St George’s Day. 

Tories target TWELVE Scottish seats in audacious raid of Nicola Sturgeon’s heartland 

The Conservatives could win as many 12 Scottish seats at the general election, polls suggest today, ending a 30 year slump for the party north of the border.

In what would be an audacious raid on Nicola Sturgeon‘s electoral heartlands Theresa May’s party is hoping to add to its single Scottish seat.

A Panelbase poll of voters intentions in the Westminster election found the Tories, led in Scotland by Ruth Davidson, on 33 per cent – 11 points behind the SNP but 20 per cent ahead of Labour.

If 11 new seats did fall to the Tories it would be the party’s best performance in Scotland since the 1970’s and end a near wipe out that began in the 1980s.

Nicola Sturgeon campaigning in Stenhousemuir

Nicola Sturgeon campaigning in Stenhousemuir

Theresa May campaigning in Dudley

Theresa May campaigning in Dudley

In what would be an audacious raid on Nicola Sturgeon’s electoral heartlands Theresa May’s party is hoping to add to its single Scottish seats

The poll, of 1,029 people for the Sunday Times, suggests Labour could lose its final constituency in Scotland, Ian Murray’s Edinburgh South, to the Tories.

Moray constituency, held by SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, is a Tory target.

The Tories finished second there in 2015 by 9,000 votes and it is the most Eurosceptic patch in Scotland. 

Berwickshire would fall to the Tories with a swing of just 328 votes.  

 

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