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Osborne’s cash for Faslane stirs Labour division

£500m for Trident subverts democracy, says SNP. by Paddy McGuffin and Conrad Landin

GEORGE OSBORNE was accused of subverting democratic protocols for the sake of stirring up divisions in the Labour Party yesterday after he announced a further £500 million investment in the nuclear submarine base at Faslane.

The Chancellor said the cash would fund the construction of sea walls, jetties and other projects.

But critics said this further evidence that the government intends to plough ahead with plans for Trident renewal before MPs vote on the issue next year.

Just two Scottish MPs back replacing Trident — with all 56 SNP members and Labour’s Ian Murray opposed.

And Jeremy Corbyn, who is on course to win the Labour leadership, would likely reverse the Britain-wide Labour Party’s support for Trident.

Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Chancellor was “making the wrong moral choice” in prioritising nuclear weapons while slashing public services and benefits.

“George Osborne is making this announcement today partly to stir it up within the Labour Party, to exacerbate some of the issues around the stance taken by Jeremy Corbyn,” he said.

Faslane is home to missile-carrying Vanguard submarines, and the Ministry of Defence is also expected to base the Successor class on the

Clyde when they come into service from 2028.

The Chancellor claimed the 10-year programme beginning in 2017 will secure 6,700 jobs and create thousands more in the region.

He savaged the SNP and Mr Corbyn for opposing nuclear weapons, branding the latter a threat to “national security.”

He smarmed: “I’m proud to say that this government continues to recognise that our brave armed forces across Britain have always been resolute in defence of liberty and the promotion of stability around the world.”

The row came as new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale confirmed the Scottish party would support unilateral disarmament if members voted to do so at its conference in October.

Her deputy Alex Rowley is an avowed opponent of replacement.

Ms Dugdale insisted taking the line would not divide the Britain-wide party.

“It’s devolution and that’s a good thing, people want power to be closer to people,” she said.


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