Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale open to Trident debate

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Hemedia
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Hemedia
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SCOTTISH Labour should not be afraid of opening up a debate on Trident nuclear weapons, the party’s newly-elected leader has said.

Kezia Dugdale indicated she would be willing for the subject to be discussed at Scottish Labour’s conference in October as part of plans to democratise the party.

Trident: Debate. Picture: PA

Trident: Debate. Picture: PA

Ms Dugdale, who was elected to replace Jim Murphy as leader on Saturday following the party’s disastrous general election result in Scotland, has come under pressure on the issue as a result of the strong anti-Trident stance of UK leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, she reaffirmed that she would work with whichever of the four UK leadership candidates is elected.

Asked what approach she would take on Trident if Mr Corbyn was successful, she said: “I want people to join the Labour Party and to be active in it, not just so that they can vote for a Labour leader ... but so that they can be part of political debate, so that they can debate ideas and so they can vote for Labour policy.

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“I’m proud of the fact that my party is a party of nuclear disarmament. More warheads were abandoned under Labour than in any other country in recent history.

“The question that you have to ask is what is the best way to get other countries to give up their nuclear weapons? I think the way to do that is together on a multilateral basis.

“I recognise, however, there are people in the Labour Party and there are people who desperately want to support and join the Labour Party that take a different view.

“So why can’t you have a situation where we’re not afraid to debate these ideas?

“When it comes to conference at the end of October, which I will lead for the first time, I hope that we will be able to create a situation there where party members will have a much bigger say over how we construct Labour Party policy for the 2016 elections.”