Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis Forced To Keep Open Possibility Of Dumping Trident

In his speech, Lewis said: “As you know, I am sceptical about Trident renewal, as are many here. But I am clear that our Party has a policy for Trident renewal.”

He had planned to then add at that point in the speech his pledge not to unpick party policy, but a senior aide to Corbyn advised him to remove the reference.

Lewis then added: “I also want to be clear that our Party’s policy is also that we all share the ambition of a nuclear-free world. So we will take steps to make that ambition a reality.”

Former Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry and Lewis both co-chair the Trident review, which is expected to resume its work as part of the new International Policy Commission, once fresh members and officers are appointed.

The Shadow Defence Secretary on Monday also added a new announcement – brought forward from the defence review – that Labour would build three new ships to support aircraft carriers.

He said that the new work would be welcomed by business and “unions like GMB and Unite”. “Your members help defend us and we will help defend them,” he said.

The last line was seen as a coded message to unions that Lewis would work hard to defend Trident renewal too.

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