THE COMMONS will this week debate and vote on the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Prime minister Tony Blair says that the UK should continue to value its nuclear weapons system and that unless there is a new generation, ordered and scheduled for delivery, the current system will simply deteriorate into valueless technology. As we report today, some senior Labour figures are struggling with their consciences over Trident.Thedeputyleaderofthe Commons, Nigel Griffiths, intends not to support the government. While his vote and the absence of support by other Labour MPs won’t be enough to defeat the government – due to the support from the Tory benches – we believe Griffiths should not sit quietly and wait to be sacked over his stance.
Sunday Herald 11th March 2007
The senior Labour MP, Nigel Griffiths, is preparing to quit his job as deputy leader of the House of Commons because he is opposed to the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system. He told a meeting of constituents in Edinburgh last week that he will not back Tony Blair’s £100 billion bid to renew the weapon, due to be put to a vote by MPs on Wednesday. He said he would vote “with his conscience” and he expected to be out of a job as a result.
Sunday Herald 11th March 2007
Rob Edwards.com 11th March 2007
Three MPs from different parties will debate the replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons in Exeter next week.Kate Hudson, national chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, will be joined on stage to discuss the issue by Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, Hugo Swire, Tory MP for East Devon, and Richard Younger-Ross, Lib Dem MP for Teignbridge. The debate will take place in the Music Room at Exeter Central Library at 7.30pm on Friday.
Exeter Express and Echo 10th March 2007
JIM DEVINE will quit his post in the Government next week in protest at replacing Trident. The Scots Labour MP will resign before the crunch Commons vote on a new nuclear missile system. He is the first Westminster casualty of the row over £20billion plans to replace Britain’s ageing nuclear submarines. Livingston MP Devine is quitting as Commons aide to health minister Rosie Winterton. Several other parliamentary private secretaries are threatening to follow suit. Devine, 53, was Robin Cook’s election agent and won his seat in the election following Cook’s death.
Daily Record 10th March 2007
Observer 11th March 2007
Ministers are braced for a potential backbench rebellion over plans to renew the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent. A BBC survey of Labour backbenchers found 64 out of 101 MPs opposed renewal. One ministerial aide has said he will resign over the issue. The Scottish National Party (SNP) is also urging ministers not to base the replacement in Scotland. The survey for the BBC’s The World This Weekend found that out of the 101 Labour MPs who responded, just 22 said they supported the renewal of Trident. A total of 64 said they opposed it, and a further 15 were still undecided. This could mean the government will have to rely on the votes of the Conservatives to carry Wednesday’s motion to determine whether a new generation of nuclear submarines is acquired and the Trident D5 missiles updated. Livingston MP Jim Devine, who is parliamentary private secretary to health minister Rosie Winterton, has already indicated he will resign before the Commons vote. Meanwhile, Labour leadership contender Michael Meacher said he would order a new vote on Trident after a “full and proper” public consultation if he won his bid to succeed Tony Blair as prime minister.
BBC 11th March 2007
Express 11th March 2007
The aide to Hazel Blears, Stephen Pound MP, may quit over Trident
Sunday Express 11th March 2007
Divisions in Germany’s ruling coalition over plans to withdraw from nuclear energy resurfaced on Saturday, a day after the European Union set ambitious targets to combat climate change. Economics Minister Michael Glos criticized Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel for refusing to allow the utility company RWE to extend the life of one of its nuclear plants. Glos is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), while Gabriel belongs to the Social Democrats (SPD) of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
Monsters and Critics 10th March 2007
Campaigners have reacted angrily to news that the Hinkley B nuclear power station is expected to reopen this month. The owners of the plant have been accused of putting profit above safety by the Stop Hinkley protest group which has now called on energy watchdogs to throw out British Energy’s request to fire up the two reactors again.
Western Morning News 10th March 2007