Nuke Free World? 75% of Labour candidates oppose Trident renewal
The survey by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) found 75 percent of Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidates standing in the general election this May want to see a nuke-free Britain.
Both longstanding MPs and new candidates were surveyed, with new candidates more likely to be against Trident renewal.
Many MPs surveyed opposed investing in a new generation of nuclear missiles because they believe Britain should lead the way for a ‘Nuclear Free World.’
Most agreed nuclear weapons don’t address current security threats to the UK, such as terrorism.
Other MPs believe the huge expense of renewing Trident, which is expected to cost £100 billion according to CND, is immoral in an age of austerity.
The Labour Party renewed its support for Trident at the party’s National Policy Forum last August.
Alex Sobel, an ally of party leader Ed Miliband and candidate for Leeds North West, said he believes the UK should encourage other countries to give up their nuclear weapons too.
“I believe in a Nuclear Free World and believe we should put our weapons up for decommissioning at an international convention, encouraging others to do the same,” Sobel said.
“The next Labour government will conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review, and this should consider the possibilities and implications of scrapping and not replacing Trident. I believe that to be the minimum position.”
Richard Burgon, who is standing for election in Leeds East, says Trident opposition is a practical strategy to create a safer world.
“Nuclear weapons pose a threat to the whole of humanity. For the sake of the whole of humanity and for the sake of generations still to come, we need to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons,” he said.
Purna Sen, Labour’s candidate in Brighton Pavilion where the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas MP currently sits, opposes Trident renewal on moral and practical grounds.
“Threats to UK security in recent years have highlighted how nuclear weapons are not relevant to today’s world and the threats that we face.”
“At a time when people are struggling with the cost of living, when we have such a high level of child poverty and when people are sleeping on our streets, spending billions of pounds on cold war weaponry cannot be justified,” she added.
Catherine West, the Labour candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green, said she would also vote against renewing the nuclear weapons system.
“We have an opportunity now to highlight the progress that has been made towards negotiation and the use of politics and diplomacy in resolving conflict,” she said.
“I support a global ban on such weapons as part of our commitment to nuclear disarmament, as was successful with other weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons,” she added.