Jeremy Corbyn: Labour activists will have 'a big say' on Trident policy


Labour activists will be given a "big say" in whether the party continues to back the renewal of the UK's nuclear weapons system, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader, who is fiercely opposed to replacing Trident, said he was considering giving members a vote on the divisive issue.

Mr Corbyn said replacing the deterrent would go against the spirit of an international agreement and insisted that Britain had to "make a contribution" if it wanted to live in a nuclear-free world.

The ardent pacifist also sidestepped questions over whether he would order a drone strike against Islamic State jihadis if there was no other way of dealing with them.

Mr Corbyn told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that while the party had a policy backing Trident renewal, "I also have a mandate from the election that I received as leader and that now has to be debated in the party".

He added: "I want members to have a big say in it. Whether that comes as a vote of individual members or a vote of conference, that will be decided. I haven't made up my mind on that.

"My whole election programme was based on the need for ordinary people to be able to participate much more in politics so that leaders don't go away and write policy, that executive groups don't go off and decide what the policy is, that ordinary people do."

Asked if he would agree to drone strikes that could kill key IS terrorists, Mr Corbyn said: "I would want to know what the evidence is, what difference it would make by doing that, what the chances were of capturing somebody - I suspect very, very low in those circumstances, so action could be taken."