Defence Chief would be 'worried' if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister

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Defence Chief would be 'worried' if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister

Post by feelthelove on Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:20 pm

The head of Britain's Armed Forces has said he would "worry" if Jeremy Corbyn becomes the Prime Minister, as his stance on Trident would reduce the country's "credibility".

Maria Eagle, Labour's shadow defence secretary, responded to the comments by saying she could "understand" the concerns raised by General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the Chief of the Defence Staff.

It comes after the Shadow Cabinet split over the issue of Trident in September, when the Labour leader said he would never authorise the use of Britain's missiles.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton  Photo: PA

Speaking to the BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Sir Nicholas said: "Well it would worry me if that thought was translated into power as it were.

"There are a couple of hurdles to cross before we get to that [Jeremy Corbyn winning an election], but the reason I say this, and it is not based on a personal thing at all, it is purely based on the credibility of deterrence. The whole thing about deterrence rests on the credibility of its use. When people say ‘you are never going to use the deterrent’, what I say is you use the deterrent every second, of every minute, of every day.

"The purpose of the deterrent is that you don’t have to use it because you successfully deter.”

Ms Eagle, who later later appeared on the programme, said: "I understand the point that [Sir Nicholas] is making and it's a point that I made myself when Jeremy said what he said.  I said that there are those who don't believe deterrence works, I'm not one of them. I think Jeremy' s point of view is about whether or not he believes in the effectiveness of deterrence.​"

She added: "I am not a unilateral disarmer, I don't believe that that works, I think I would find it difficult but we're not there yet, we have a big process to go through and I think we should engage in that".

ms Eagle's comments again underlined the deep divisions between the party leader and a large swathe of his MPs.

They come just a week after Mr Corbyn hailed a vote by the Scottish Labour Party conference in favour of scrapping Trident.

Last week Kevan Jones, the shadow defence minister, warned that Jeremy Corbyn will "kick" thousands of people out of work and make Britain a less secure place if he pushes ahead with his plans to scrap Trident.

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