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19 May 2017, 18:48
Labour's Emily Thornberry Does Not Rule Out Scrapping Trident
Would Britain's nuclear defence be scrapped under Labour? Emily Thornberry did not rule it out.
Would Trident be scrapped if Labour were successful in winning the general election? Iain Dale asked the shadow foreign secretary again and again.
The Labour party has said in its manifesto it is in favour of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, but Jeremy Corbyn is promising a strategic defence review if successful on June 8.
When asked if Trident would definitely continue as Labour party policy even after such review had taken place, Emily Thornberry replied: “No, of course not, if you’re going to have a review, you have to have a review.”
Iain pointed out it was, therefore, possible that if Jeremy Corbyn was elected prime minister he could drive through a policy of ditching Trident.
Appearing to not want to commit to a yes or no answer, Ms Thornberry responded: “We need to make sure our policy is up to date and meets 21st-century threats.
“There was a time we gave up on sabres or horses, you need to keep updating your defence policy and meeting the most pressing and obvious needs.”
Ms Thornberry went on to say she was “much more sceptical” about Trident than Iain first thought, which led the LBC presenter to ask: “So you might be pushing for this policy change?”
Again, appearing to swerve the question, the Labour politician replied: “We should have a modern policy on defence and we should make sure first and foremost that Britain is safe.”
Watch the video above to see what you think or view LBC's Election Call with Emily Thornberry here.
Labour have since said that the Shadow Foreign Secretary was wrong to suggest the party might drop its commitment to Trident.
The party's defence secretary, Nia Griffith, told BBC Newsnight it was already settled that Trident would remain if the party came into power.
She said: "Last year we looked at it, in particular, at the national policy forum and it was decided that we would keep the nuclear deterrent."