As Corbyn backed by ruling body...

No change for Labour as Eagle backs Trident and Brexit vote

Angela Eagle BBCAngela Eagle offered little indication of change to Labour policy on a number of key issues when she spoke about Scottish matters early today.

Ms Eagle, who declared her bid for the leadership of the party yesterday, gave no indication of voting down renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme and offered no shift in policy over Scotland’s bid to remain in the European Union.

Speaking in a radio interview she said she “understood” the problem that the EU referendum caused for Scotland and Northern Ireland which voted to remain.

But she said the vote was to leave and it was now important to seek the “least damage” from the result.

Asked about Scotland’s demand to remain part of the EU, she said: “I understand the problem that the EU referendum caused in Scotland and Northern Ireland but I believe we are better off if we stick together.”

Adding that she “fought hard on the Remain side”, she said: “The people have voted. We have to look at how we create the best possible circumstances when we leave the EU that do the least damage.”

Pressed on Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s comment that “everything is on the table”, she said: “London backed EU membership. My own area in the Wirral voted for Remain, as did Liverpool. But we had a referendum result which was the opposite.

“We have to make the best future for ourselves. I agree that this is going to be a challenging time.”

On Trident she said did not specifically say she would vote for Trident renewal but said she was a multi-lateralist and this was Labour party policy.

Earlier, the former shadow business secretary argued working people “have most to lose” from the UK’s decision to quit the EU.

“We need to work for the real interests of working people, who have most to lose if May gets it wrong.

“That’s why I will demand that the UK government enshrine into the post-Brexit arrangements a commitment to the same labour standards as Europe. We need to compete on skills and ingenuity, not on sacrificing workers’ rights in a race to the bottom.”

Regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s record as leader so far, she said: What’s been so extraordinary about Jeremy is that after taking the leadership he has done so little with it.”

Labour’s ruling executive decided tonight that Mr Corbyn will be automatically on the ballot paper in the leadership election and will not have to seek nominations from colleagues.

> An object was thrown through the window of Ms Eagle’s Wallasey office after she launched her leadership bid against Mr Corbyn.

Labour MP Wes Streeting criticised colleagues and trade union leaders for using inflammatory language in the dispute over the Labour party’s future.

His comments are thought to have directed in particular at Unite general secretary Len McLuskey, who yesterday condemned the ongoing parliamentary coup against Mr Corbyn.

> As we reported yesterday former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith is expected to declare his candidacy for the leadership.


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