Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, is one of two Labour MPs to hint at resigning from the frontbench over Trident plans [Image: Rex Shutterstock].


What a strange way for shadow cabinet members to behave.

Perhaps Owen Smith and Charlie Falconer have forgotten, but if they look at the back of their Labour Party membership cards, they’ll see that they belong to a democratic socialist party. That means the will of the majority must prevail.

Falconer knows perfectly well that his buddy Tony Blair ended the practice of policy-making at the Labour Party Conference; under New Labour, policy was decided in Blairite-dominated committees and conference was for showpiece speeches.

In talking down John McDonnell’s reference to a new “consultative process”, he is deriding a return to a democracy that will allow all party members to have their say.

That’s too bad. It’s coming, whether he wants it or not.

Labour divisions have burst into the open once again as two shadow ministers hinted that they would resign if Jeremy Corbyn succeeded in dropping Labour’s support for renewing the Trident nuclear weapons programme.

Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said it would be difficult for him to remain in the shadow cabinet if the party supported a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the shadow justice secretary, said he was a strong supporter of Trident.

And in a further sign that the leadership is struggling to impose its authority after the reshuffle, a third member of the shadow cabinet dismissed claims by John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, that nuclear policy could be changed through a new process.

Source: Labour divisions reopen over plans to drop support for Trident | Politics | The Guardian

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