Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has stepped up his bid to drop Britain’s commitment to Trident renewal
Sources claim that Unite members working in the defence industry have opted out of paying the political levy to the union, which pours millions into the party’s coffers each year.
The news comes just days after Corbyn appointed anti-Trident MP Emily Thornberry as Shadow Defence Secretary, making her the co-chair of the party’s defence policy review.
A senior union insider said: “Members have already started to opt out of the political levy in protest at Corbyn’s stance on Trident.
“There’s been a lot of anger about the issue but whenever it has been raised with the union’s General Secretary Len McCluskey he points to the executive council statement, made in 2012, that it is committed to defending the Trident jobs until such a time as a commitment is shown to defence diversification.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey says he remains committed to defending Trident jobs
“This has provided some reassurance to members but concerns remain the union will ditch the policy later this year as a pre-cursor to Labour formally adopting an anti-Trident position after its policy review.”
The issue is expected to come up again at the union’s National Industrial Sector Committee meeting to be held in Barrow, Cumbria, later this month.
Kevan Jones was one of three shadow ministers to quit the Labour front-bench last week in the wake of Corbyn’s so called “revenge reshuffle.”
Among those sacked was culture spokesman Michael Dugher.
Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry is also anti-Trident
Mr Jones said he would have lost all credibility had he stayed in post after Ms Thornberry’s appointment.
He said: “If I’d stayed, I’d have been endorsing the incompetent handling of this situation, and I would have risked the credibility I’ve built up as a former defence minister and shadow defence minister. I had no choice but to quit.
Culture spokesman Michael Dugher was sacked by Jeremy Corbyn as part of a cabinet reshuffle
“We now have someone who has not demonstrated she knows a great deal about defence and who opposes our nuclear deterrent. Emily and the others must face up to the fact that, by opposing Trident, they are preparing to throw thousands of highly skilled trade union members out of work.”
Ex-First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West said his support of Labour would end if Mr Corbyn changed its policy on Trident.
“Labour’s position officially is it still supports our nuclear deterrent and membership of Nato,” he said.
via : Daily Express :: Politics Feed