Setback for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Trident as his plans for Labour members to get a say is "against rules"

James Nickerson
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Gordon Brown Announces Plans To Cut Trident Submarines
Corbyn favours unilateral disarmament (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was delivered a blow against his hopes of reversing his party's backing of Trident, after the party's general secretary unambiguously said there would be no change in its policymaking process before September.

At a parliamentary meeting Iain McNicol told MPs that any changes in the way the party determined policy would have to be agreed at the party's autumn conference, according to the Guardian.

McNicol's comments come after Corbyn stated Labour party members would be given a role in deciding whether to change policy, a move which would diminish the role of the party conference and front bench team.

Read more: Shock - Corbyn defends reshuffle against claim of splits

Corbyn had wanted to involve Labour's membership - many of whom agree with scrapping Trident - in policy formation in advance of the vote, which is expected to take place in June.

The Labour leader said: “I want members to have a big say in it, whether that comes as a vote of individual members or a vote at conference that will be decided. I haven’t made up my mind about that.”

And Corbyn is now also cruising into battle with the GMB union, its leader Sir Paul Kenny having warned Corbyn against trying to change Labour's policy on Trident.

Read more: Scottish Labour vote against renewal and choose to scrap nuclear missile system

Kenny told the BBC on Monday: “If anybody thinks that unions like the GMB are going to go quietly into the night while tens of thousands of our members’ jobs are literally swannied away by rhetoric then they’ve got another shock coming.”

The latest developments come after Corbyn's shadow cabinet reshuffle last week, where he replaced Maria Eagle with Emily Thornberry as shadow defence secretary.

Eagle is in favour of renewing Trident, while Thornberry, like Corbyn, advocates a unilateralist position to nuclear disarmament.

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