29 Sep 2015

Jeremy Corbyn conference speech restates Trident opposition

Jeremy Corbyn restated his opposition to renewing Trident as he vowed to make British politics kinder and more respectful.

Although shadow Cabinet ministers including Vernon Coaker and Hilary Benn oppose scrapping the nuclear deterent, he said he wanted to “make my own position absolutely clear” that it was wrong to spend £100bn on renewal of Trident.

He said he had a “mandate” from his election as Labour leader to oppose the nuclear weapons programme telling a packed conference hall: “I don’t believe that £100bn spent on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking up a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward.”

The Labour leader also used his first Labour Conference speech as the party’s leader to mock newspaper stories attacking his leadership credentials.

However he was immediately criticised for his apparent failure to deal with the issue of the deficit in detail.

Ed Miliband, Mr Corbyn’s predecessor was criticised for apparently forgetting to mention the deficit in his speech in Manchester last year.

The Labour leader began his 59m long speech to promising to create a “kinder politics, a more caring society” and attack David Cameron’s “shocking broken promises”.

Cut out the personal abuse, cut out the cyber bullying, and especially cut out the misogynistic abuse. Jeremy Corbyn

Later, to a standing ovation, he added: “Cut out the personal abuse, cut out the cyber bullying, and especially cut out the misogynistic abuse.

“Let’s get on with bringing real values back into politics.”

He promised that Labour would tackle austerity and the growing housing crisis.

Mr Corbyn also used his speech to attack newspaper for many of the stories written about him over the past week, making fun of one publication for suggesting that his chosen mode of transport looked like a bicycle belonging to Chairman Mao.

He also reiterated his belief that Trident should be scrapped but said that this was a personal view.

In an apparent effort to placate the unions, who oppose his position on Trident, he added that Labour must work to protect the jobs and skills of those who work in the nuclear industry.

The Labour leader, who won the Labour leadership election with 59 per cent of the also used his keynote speech in Brighton to make a personal appeal to David Cameron on Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, a protester who faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia for a crime he allegedly committed aged 17.

Mr Corbyn said his role as Labour leader would not hinder his 30 years of activism on human rights.