Without naming India, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday reiterated his opposition to nuclear weapons and insisted that he could not contemplate any situation in which he would press the nuclear trigger if he became the prime minister.
In a series of interviews, Corbyn set out his opposition to Britain investing 100 billion pounds to renew the Trident nuclear submarine system. A decision on the controversial system is due to be taken in the near future.
There were five declared nuclear weapon states in the world and three others (including India) that had nuclear weapons, he said, and added that 187 countries “don’t feel the need to have a nuclear weapon to protect their security”.
“Why should those five need it themselves… We are not in the era of the Cold War any more; it finished a long time ago…I am opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. I am opposed to the holding of nuclear weapons. I want to see a nuclear-free world. I believe it is possible”, he said. The five N-weapon states are US, UK, France, China and Russia.
Corbyn’s pronouncements upset several of his party collagues, since it has been Labour’s position so far that Britain should retain the Trident option.
His shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle told BBC: “I’m surprised he answered the question in the way that he did”, saying it “undermined to some degree” Labour’s policy process.
She added: “I don’t think that a potential prime minister answering a question like that, in the way in which he did, is helpful.”