By Nick Clark
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Labour right go on attack over Trident

This article is over 6 years, 2 months old
Issue 2479

The row inside the Labour Party over Trident nuclear weapons continued after the head of the army criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-nuclear position.

Corbyn has said he will write to the Ministry of Defence to complain about Houghton’s political bias.

Protesting against Trident

Protesting against Trident (Pic: Duncan Brown)

But Labour’s shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle undermined him by saying there was nothing wrong with Houghton expressing his views.

Eagle and the majority of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are in favour of renewing Trident. This is now said to cost £167 billion.

The argument over Trident is part of a bigger battle. Corbyn is under constant attack from forces to his right.

Labour right winger John Woodcock claimed last week that the majority of Labour MPs would be prepared to defy Corbyn over Syria.

And Corbyn’s political adviser Andrew Fisher was suspended from Labour on Friday of last week after complaints from right wing MPs. Fisher has been accused of calling for people to vote for a candidate from the anarchist Class War organisation during the general election.

Former London mayor Ken Livingston responded by calling for the suspension of Labour MPs Simon Danczuk and Frank Field, who have publicly attacked Corbyn. Others want to focus on replacing Labour right wingers with Corbyn supporters.

Last month Corbyn supporters launched the Momentum campaign. It aims to support Corbyn and organise community campaigns. Its supporters have held voter registration drives.

But some in Momentum have been quoted as saying their task is to “turn the attention of their supporters towards the battles that will take place within the Labour Party”.

Tensions inside Labour mean there is always infighting.

The selection of parliamentary candidates can become a site of struggle between left and right.

The choice of Jim McMahon as Labour’s candidate in the upcoming Oldham by-election is seen as a victory for the right.

But the strength of Corbyn’s election campaign was based on the hundreds of thousands of people who signed up looking for radical change.

It would be a shame if that potential was lost on internal Labour Party battles.

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