Jeremy Corbyn is about to take on a new role championing nuclear disarmament, a move that will cause some tension within the shadow cabinet as many support a nuclear deterrent
The Labour leader is to be appointed as vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) today in recognition of his long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons.
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Mr Corbyn will address a private meeting of CND members today on the fringes of the group’s annual conference, which is focused on how to push its agenda before the expected vote on the renewal of Trident next year.
The group says Mr Corbyn’s support as party leader makes this its most important meeting since the end of the Cold War and is the clearest sign yet that Labour will change its policy.
A CND spokesman said: ‘He will be appointed to the new role of vice-president. It’s more of a symbolic role.’
It is the top honorary position in the group, which has no president. Mr Corbyn has for years been one of the three vice-chairmen of CND, which involves managing its day-to-day business.
Mr Corbyn’s first clash with his shadow cabinet was over Trident, and the issue overshadowed his first party conference after he said he would never press the nuclear button if he became prime minister. He later announced a review of the issue and indicated MPs would get a free vote.
One Labour frontbencher said: ‘This is really unhelpful. This review hasn’t even started, and he’s trying to bump the party into a position it doesn’t support. He’s undermining his message.’
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, said: ‘He should be trying to create some distance from this organisation, but in true Corbyn style he’s managed to make the situation worse.
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