Labour MPs hit out as Corbyn turns to Ken Livingstone to do his bidding on Trident
Jeremy Corbyn has handed his ally Ken Livingstone a key role over Labour’s defence review in a surprise move which has provoked a fresh row with MPs.
The former mayor of London has been made co-convener of the party’s policy commission on defence, working alongside shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle.
It means that Labour’s position on Britain’s nuclear deterrent will now be thrashed out by the anti-Trident Livingstone and the pro-Trident Eagle.
Also getting involved will be John Woodcock, who has been particularly critical of Corbyn’s stance on Trident and was recently elected as chair of Labour’s defence committee.
What is Corbyn playing at? Many Labour MPs believe that their leader has turned to Livingstone to do the job of opposing Trident on his behalf.
First out of the traps to attack the move today was shadow defence minister Kevan Jones, who said it would harm Labour's credibility on defence.
Jones has held the defence brief for seven years, and served as a minister under Gordon Brown. He told PoliticsHome:
"I'm not sure Ken knows anything about defence. It will only damage our credibility amongst those that do and who care about defence."
Another sceptical Labour MP said of the appointment:
"I assumed it was a joke when I first heard about it."
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