Corbyn steps down as parliamentary CND chair
Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has stepped down as the chairman of the parliamentary Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) group amid continued tension in the party over his support for scrapping Trident.
Mr Corbyn relinquished the role due to the time pressures of being Labour leader and will be replaced by Green MP Caroline Lucas as the parliamentary group's chair.
The Labour leader, a vice-president of CND, faces a battle within his own party over the renewal of the UK's nuclear deterrent.
Three shadow cabinet members - shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell and shadow justice secretary Charles Falconer - have refused to rule out quitting their posts if the party drops its backing for Trident, while GMB union leader Paul Kenny warned Mr Corbyn was facing a "shock" if he tried to ditch the renewal of the UK's nuclear deterrent, saying unions would not "go quietly into the night" if jobs were put at risk.
Ms Lucas paid tribute to her predecessor and insisted that parliamentary support for disarmament was growing.
She said: "Jeremy's been a passionate and effective advocate for nuclear disarmament in parliament for many years and I'm proud to be taking over from him."
"There is a growing cross-party consensus on nuclear disarmament with the Labour Party leadership joining the Green Party, SNP and Plaid Cymru in opposition to renewing Trident," Ms Lucas added.
CND's general secretary Kate Hudson said: "Caroline has a track record in opposing nuclear weapons that is second to none.
"She also has a long-standing commitment to CND and the cause of peace and we are delighted that she has accepted the position of chair of Parliamentary CND."
Mr Corbyn had previously been a vice-chair of CND but stood down from that post last year because of his increased workload since winning the Labour leadership race, accepting the role of vice-president instead.