Jamie Reed: I would not stand under Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto at a general election

Posted On: 
14th July 2016

A former Labour frontbencher has said he would not stand in a general election under the manifesto of a Jeremy Corbyn-led party.

 

Jamie Reed supports the renewal of Trident
Credit: 
PA Images

Jamie Reed said he would still stand "under a Labour banner" while distancing himself from the party leader's left-wing policies.

In particular, he said he could "never" stand on a manifesto which opposed the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent.

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The MP for Copeland spoke out in an interview with The House magazine as Labour prepares for another leadership election this summer, with both Angela Eagle and Owen Smith challenging Mr Corbyn's.

He said: "If Jeremy wins a leadership contest again, if I’m selected to be a candidate at the 2020 election or whenever that election comes, I find it hard to see how people like me would stand on Jeremy’s manifesto.

“I can clearly see a situation where you have Labour candidates going for election under a Labour banner but not going for election beneath Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto.

“I point to Trident specifically on that. I’ll never stand on a manifesto which doesn’t support the retention and renewal of Trident.”

Labour’s official party policy remains in favour of Trident renewal, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons.

However, former shadow health minister Mr Reed said he is certain the party will not split.

He said: “I don’t think threatening to split the Labour party is in any way wise. I’m certain that the Labour party won’t split.

“I think we’ve learned our lesson of the 1980s. Too much store is put in the creation of the SDP in the rise of Thatcherism. I actually think it was the trade union movement and the Labour movement generally and its failure to understand what was happening in society at that time that created Thatcherism.

“Nonetheless the lesson about breaking the progressive vote has been learned and there’s no need to do that.”