EXCL SNP tell Jeremy Corbyn: We will back Labour government if you dump Trident
The SNP would demand Labour ditch its commitment to Trident in return for propping up a minority Jeremy Corbyn-led government, it has emerged.
Stewart McDonald, the party's defence spokesman at Westminster, said the Labour leader - a lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons - would be "mad" to reject the offer if his chances of becoming Prime Minister depended on it.
Labour's official policy is to support the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent.
But in an interview with The House magazine, Mr McDonald said a Labour/SNP pact would be "the first opportunity that would have presented itself in British history, for Britain to get rid of nuclear weapons".
And he said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would ensure that getting rid of Trident formed a key plank of any post-election negotiations.
He said: "On the issue of nuclear weapons, of course there has to be a serious discussion that says, ‘you want to get rid of them, we want to get rid of them, let’s work out a way we can make that happen’.
"I hope that if Jeremy’s in the position to form a government, perhaps with an arrangement with the Scottish National Party, then that [scrapping Trident] should be one of the key planks of any discussion that we have, because Corbyn agrees with us on this. He has a long and honourable history of agreeing with us on this.
"We’d ultimately have an opportunity, the first opportunity that would have presented itself in British history, for Britain to get rid of nuclear weapons. We would be mad, and Jeremy Corbyn would be mad, not to grab that opportunity."
The Glasgow South MP added: "The red lines will be decided by the First Minister and it’s entirely sensible that the First Minister is able to set those red lines. But knowing the First Minister as I do, as a lifelong anti-nuclear campaigner – in fact I think she joined the CND before she joined the SNP – that’s going to be pretty high up on her agenda. Of course it is."
A Labour party spokesperson said: "As Jeremy Corbyn made clear during the General Election, we’re not doing deals or coalitions with anyone. We are campaigning for a Labour government.
“Jeremy and the Labour Party have long been committed to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which aims to achieve nuclear disarmament. Trident renewal is Labour policy, as set out in our manifesto.”