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Findlay opens up more red water on Trident renewal

Scots Labour leadership candidate stands up for policy opposing costly nuclear weapons

Scottish Labour leadership contender Neil Findlay put more clear water between himself and his rivals yesterday by standing up for existing Scottish Labour policy to oppose Trident renewal.

In a BBC television interview, Mr Findlay set out a radical agenda for Scottish Labour under his leadership with opposition to Trident as well as plans to build 50,000 social houses, extend the living wage to all workers, bring privately finance initiative (PFI) contracts back in-house and take the railways back into common ownership.

The Lothians MSP told Andrew Marr at the outset of the interview: "I don't think we should be renewing Trident."

Challenged by Marr on whether this would lead to "problems with London Labour," Mr Findlay affirmed: "It's already Labour Party policy in Scotland to oppose the renewal of Trident, it has been for some time."

Speaking after the programme, Mr Findlay said that under his leadership the Scottish Labour Party would "make the case inside the wider Labour Party and, in due course, inside government that the UK doesn't need and can't afford nuclear weapons."

He added: "Unlike the nationalists I don't just want to shift the UK's nuclear weapons, I want to see them dismantled."

Mr Findlay told Mr Marr that the Labour Party "has to have more autonomy in Scotland" and dismissed the idea that it would not be "plausible to have a more socialist Scotland" within the British state.

"Issues around social justice - like jobs and housing - these were the main themes that came across in the referendum and we have to respond to that very positively with a radical Labour programme," he said.

"We need to take the railways back into common ownership - and there are opportunities to bring PFI contracts back in house.

"These are issues that the Scottish Labour Party should make decisions over and if that's different to the UK Labour Party then so be it."

• Meanwhile, deputy leadership candidate Katy Clark MP told Scottish Labour Women's conference in Glasgow that women needed "a radical Labour Party who will not just raise the minimum wage but abolish it and replace it with a real living wage."

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