Ed Miliband accused Defence Secretary Michael Fallon of resorting to “desperate smears” in his personal attack on him over Trident renewal.
Writing in The Times, Fallon compared the possibility of Labour striking a deal with the SNP with his route to the top of the Labour party. “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader,” he said, referring to the Labour party leadership contest in 2010. Fallon later repeated his comments on the BBC’s Today programme.
“We can’t be sure what kind of backstairs deal he is likely to do with the SNP … that is the uncertainty. We have seen what he is prepared to do to get into power,” he said.
The SNP are vehemently opposed to renewing Trident. Labour have said that Trident renewal is “non-negotiable”, whether or not they enter into alliance with the SNP.
At a press conference today, Ed Miliband said: “I will never negotiate away our national security… I’ve got to say, I think the British people deserve better than what the Conservative party are offering in this campaign, which is a campaign based on deceit and lies.”
David Cameron said “of course” he backed Fallon’s comments, whilst Philip Hammond refused four times to endorse the backstabbing claim. Tim Montgomerie, a Conservative activist and blogger, said the comments were “embarassing”.
— Tim Montgomerie ن (@montie) April 8, 2015
Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that the SNP would never enter into a deal with a Labour government that is going to renew Trident. But she said this does not mean that the SNP would vote against a Queen’s Speech containing Trident.
Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said the decision on Trident replacement, due in 2016, “requires a higher level of debate than the Tories’ name-calling.”
She said: “It’s time for the Conservatives and Labour to wake up to the huge public opposition to Trident.”