JEREMY Corbyn has attempted to stamp his authority on Labour by announcing that the party will oppose replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent.
In his first speech to conference as leader Mr Corbyn delivered a stark message to MPs and union leaders who have tried to block his unilateral disarmament policy.
He declared, in an unscripted moment, that he had a “mandate” from the leadership election to oppose nuclear weapons.
His speech, which was at times stumbling, was met with rapturous applause by delegates who gave him four standing ovations.
However, his advisers had to deny his words were lifted from an unused Ed Miliband speech from 2011.
He used it to take on his critics joking about newspaper stories claiming he rode a Mao style bicycle and wanted the world to be wiped out by an astroid, but also declaring that his “kinder” style of politics of the “new left” repesented the “people’s values” of the majority of Britons.
He also made a bid for the so called “white van man” vote by promising to extend the welfare state to the self-employed with sick pay and maternity leave payments.
But despite promising “a new style of politics” where the leader “does not impose policy”, he twice announced new policies which are opposed by the majority of his MPs including bringing schools under local government control in England.
But his toughest line was on Trident, based at Faslane on the Clyde, defying Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey and MPs from the right of the party who want to push for the party to replace Trident.
He said: “I’ve made my own position on one issue clear. And I believe I have a mandate from my election on it.
“I don’t believe £100 billion on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking up a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward.”
He tried to molify the right of Labour by promising support for “a strong military to protect our country”.
Tory Justice Secretary Michael Gove said: “Labour have confirmed that they are a threat to our national security, our economic security and to the security of every family in Britain.”