Shadow defence secretary commits Labour to arms bonanza and Trident renewal
Labour will invest in the military to counter claims that the party is soft, according to Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith.
Griffith’s comments are a significant break with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s preference for spending on social needs and less aggressive forms of foreign policy.
“It’s very important people remember the vast majority of Labour Party activists are in fact very solidly behind having a strong defence policy,” she told the Mirror.
“Sometimes we are portrayed in the media as being soft on defence. But if you actually look at people who are doing work in the party, getting elected on the ground, they are very committed to our defence.
“We need to make absolutely certain that people hear a really strong voice from Labour on defence.
“We know it’s been a difficult time for the Labour Party generally over the past year and now we’ve got to get out there and make sure people know what we’re about.”
Griffith said she has also changed her position on Trident, of which she was until recently an opponent, citing the fact that backing the nuclear weapons system was part of a democratically selected Labour policy.
“We all know Jeremy has a very strong viewpoint on this, but quite clearly the National Policy Forum, the Labour Party has decided that we need to move on to other areas,” she told the Mirror.
Defence and security have become key lines of attack for critics of Corbyn both inside and outside the party.
Since his 2016 leadership win, Corbyn has been accused of being sympathetic to the IRA and Hamas, and was described as a security threat to the UK by former PM David Cameron.