Three quarters of Labour candidates at the General Election are against renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent, according to a new survey by the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament. Candidates were surveyed online about the submarine-based defence system.
Labour were quick to point out that only 12 percent of their candidates had replied, and that Ed Miliband was still committed to a nuclear deterrent. A party spokesman told The Times: “Labour is committed to a minimum, credible, independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a continuous at sea deterrent.
“We will continue to look at ways in which this can be delivered most efficiently, while also ensuring Britain takes a leading role in advancing international efforts for multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”
But Kate Hudson, general secretary of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said the survey showed that “Labour candidates are far more in-step with public opinion on this issue than the party’s leadership”.
She added: “The majority of the British public agree that squandering £100 billion on nuclear weapons at a time of deep austerity cuts and NHS crisis would be both morally reprehensible and economically disastrous — and it’s high time the Labour leadership caught up.”
Despite its small sample the survey is likely to be embarrassing to Labour, who have suffered from allegations of being weak on defence. In the 1980s the Conservatives accused them of having a policy that would effectively surrender to the Soviet Union.
One Tory poster showed a soldier with his arms up with the caption “Labour’s policy on arms” (pictured).