The Scottish Labour party is to vote on abolishing Britain’s nuclear deterrent after delegates voted heavily in favour of a debate on the Trident missile system.
The decision to debate cancelling Trident’s replacement at Scottish Labour’s annual conference this weekend came as activists applauded calls from Jeremy Corbyn for the party to embrace “the sunshine of socialism”.
On Friday, delegates overwhelmingly backed calls from constituency parties to hold a potentially divisive vote on Trident’s renewal on Sunday: the party’s leadership is split on the issue, with unions and MSPs at loggerheads.
In his first speech to Scottish Labour as leader of the UK party, Corbyn attacked the Scottish National party’s track record in government in the runup to next May’s Holyrood elections, insisting only Labour had a vision for a more equal Scotland.
He said true equality of opportunity had been stifled under the SNP, with nearly a million Scots in fuel poverty, cuts in college places, and people born in the poorest wards likely to die decades earlier than those born in the richest – a fact he called “a national scandal”.
But in a reference to Labour’s dire popularity ratings in Scotland, with polls giving it just 22% of the vote against more than 50% for the SNP, Corbyn admitted the party faced a challenge in overcoming the widely-held view that Labour was “too distant, too remote”.
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