Jeremy Corbyn: I will continue to make anti-Trident case

Media captionJeremy Corbyn says he disagrees with nuclear policy

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he accepts his party’s policy is to renew the UK’s nuclear weapons – but will continue to speak out against it.

Mr Corbyn told the BBC: “Anyone’s entitled to raise an opinion on it, and they will.”

Labour’s defence spokesman has said the party’s position should not change before the next election.

In his interview, Mr Corbyn also questioned whether air strikes against so-called Islamic State were working.

Labour’s leader, who was re-elected by an increased margin on Saturday, is hoping to unite his party at its conference in Liverpool.

But there have been rows over proposed changes to the internal party rules and on Monday Labour’s shadow defence secretary, Clive Lewis, was said to be upset at last-minute changes to the section of his speech about Trident, the UK’s nuclear missile system.

Mr Lewis reportedly said later it was time for Labour to stop “picking at the scab” of its Trident policy.

Asked to clarify Labour’s policy on whether to go ahead with renewing the multibillion pound system, Mr Corbyn told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that “the position is that Parliament has voted on Trident, the existing party policy was for renewal”, adding that he was “not a supporter of nuclear weapons”.

The party’s defence review, led by Mr Lewis, would continue, he said.

Labour was divided when MPs voted in favour of Trident renewal voted in July.

Asked whether he accepted the party’s current policy, Mr Corbyn – a longstanding CND campaigner – said: “Of course I know what the party policy is and of course I understand the decision that was taken.

“Does it mean there are people in the party who have a moral objection to nuclear weapons, yes there are.”

He predicted problems to come for the government with the costs of the project, currently estimated at £31bn, and said he would never want to trigger a nuclear bomb if elected as prime minister.

Labour is united on the need for a nuclear-free world, he added.

Media captionIn full: Jeremy Corbyn’s BBC interview with Laura Kuenssberg

Mr Corbyn was also asked whether he would continue with UK air strikes against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. The Labour leader opposed both interventions and is a former chairman of the Stop the War Coalition.

“I am not sure it’s working,” he said.

“I think there has to be a political solution, which brings together everyone with the exception of IS to isolate them.”

Pressed on whether he would call a halt to the military action, he said: “As a Labour prime minister I would bend every muscle I have got to bring about a political settlement and peace.”

On taking office as PM he would “look at all the evidence” and decide how to bring this about, he added.

The Labour leader said it had been “a very busy year” since he was first elected last summer having entered the 2015 leadership contest as an outsider.

“It’s fun and I enjoy it,” he added.

Jeremy Corbyn: I will continue to make anti-Trident case

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