Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to back the deterrent puts the programme at risk

The Shadow Foreign Secretary was on Good Morning Britain talking about the nuclear deterrent yesterday and the message couldn't have been clearer: Jeremy Corbyn can't bring himself to commit to Trident.

Jeremy Corbyn's indecisiveness makes it easier for a future Labour government to scrap it - putting thousands of jobs in Barrow, and our national security, at risk.

Simon welcomes Boris’ pledge to keep Barrow jobs

Boris Johnson’s backing to Barrow’s submarine programme has been welcomed as great news for the region, guaranteeing work for thousands of local residents.

Simon Fell, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Barrow and Furness said he was delighted the new Prime Minister has already pledged his support for the Dreadnought programme, which he called a ‘vital national asset’.

Simon said:

“I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has recognised how important it is to maintain a Continuous at Sea Deterrent and the vital important role every single worker at Barrow’s famous shipyards play in this.

“As he said in the Commons, the real threat to this deterrent and these livelihoods would be a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party in charge at Number 10. All Barrovians know that lifelong CND member Jeremy Corbyn does not support Barrow’s proud history of boat-building. He is a threat to livelihoods across Furness.

“Mr Johnson has only been in place for a few days, but he has already pledged a host of measures to get our country back on the road to a brighter future, including getting Brexit done by 31 October , with a great new deal for Britain.

 “He has also promised to hire 20,000 new police officers across the country, more investment in the NHS and schools, all pledges which I believe will benefit and will be welcomed by everyone across Barrow and Furness and the whole of Cumbria, as well as the country.”

Defence Secretary offers support for Barrow

On Thursday 17 January, the Defence Secretary the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP visited Barrow and Furness to speak to party activists.

Over the course of a well-attended dinner at the Olde Mill, the Defence Secretary chatted with activists new and old, and shared stories of his time in government - from being David Cameron’s PPS, to becoming Chief Whip and then Defence Secretary under Theresa May.

Gavin Williamson praised the ‘world class’ workforce in Barrow, calling them the ‘envy of the world’ and promised that a Conservative government would never let its commitment to the Yard, or to Barrow, slide. Highlighting Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s affiliation with the campaign for nuclear disarmament, the Defence Secretary made it clear that Labour could offer no such assurances and were a ‘real risk’ to the future success of the area.

It was fantastic to have the Defence Secretary join us for a relaxed meal and discussion. He gave an excellent speech and provided a commitment to this area that was warmly welcomed. It was especially heartening to hear the Defence Secretary praise Barrow and its workforce. He was right to say that the skill base here is second-to-none, and to commit continued support to the Yard.

It was only in December that the Defence Secretary opened the £25million Submarine Academy in Barrow and provided a £400million funding boost to the Dreadnought programme, securing over 8,000 jobs.

Labour’s not-so-secret plan to scrap Trident

At Labour Party Conference in Liverpool on Monday, Senior Labour MP Fabian Hamilton laid bare his plans for the Dreadnought programme and Barrow’s shipyard.

Speaking at a CND fringe meeting, Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Minister for Peace’ said that he and Jeremy Corbyn want to scrap Trident and begin a ‘defence diversification’ programme that would see shipyard workers retrained to work in other sectors.

Simon Fell, the Conservative Party Spokesman for Barrow and Furness said:

“This deeply worrying and entirely naive policy would decimate Barrow and the surrounding areas.

“Labour have gone back to the 70s. This pie-in-the-sky idea would lead to highly-skilled workers leaving our area and a generation of talent lost.

“It’s not just the Yard that would be hit, but also the wider supply chain, apprenticeship programmes, and retailers. It would also be harder still to make the case for further investment in our schools, Furness General, roads and rail network with such a major employer brought to its knees by Jeremy Corbyn’s reckless Labour Party.

“It’s time for Jeremy Corbyn and his ‘Minister for Peace’ to think again so that these dangerous ideas are never allowed to rip the heart out of our town.”