Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
30 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn says he would “never push the button“ on Trident

Jeremy Corbyn's interview on the Today programme is a victory for Labour's unilateralists.

By Stephen Bush

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would “never” use Britain’s nuclear deterrent, even in the event of a nuclear atttack in an interview with the Today programme.

All British Prime Ministers give sealed instructions to the captains of the Trident submarines, as whether they should strike back against a nuclear strike or not. But Corbyn’s public showing of his hand means that, effectively, Britain would cease to have a deterrent the moment Corbyn walked into Downing Street.

The announcement comes just days after constituency and trade union delegates voted through measures to retain Trident – but Corbyn’s statement effectively leaves Labour committed to paying for a deterrent that will never be used.


Maria Eagle, the Shadow Defense Secretary, has repotedly termed Corbyn’s comments “not helpful”:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.