Trident vote: Hackney MPs at odds

MPs Diane Abbott (left) and Meg Hillier (right)

MPs Diane Abbott (left) and Meg Hillier (right) - Credit: Archant

Hackney’s MPs were at odds in their vote whether or not to renew Britain’s nuclear deterrent Trident last night - with one toeing the party line and the other toeing that of the leader.

The Commons backed replacing the Vanguard submarines which carry Britain’s 225 warheads with four successors costing £31bn, by 472 votes to 117 - with a Government majority of 355.

MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch Meg Hillier joined 140 Labour MPs by following the official party policy to renew the submarines.

A spokesman from her office said: “Meg is a multilateralist. Meg has not changed her position since the last vote nine years ago.”

But Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, was one of 47 Labour MPs who voted against the plans – including unilateralist party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms Abbott said: “The real cost of renewing Trident is truly enormous, estimated to be near £167 billion. Even at the lower estimate, this is over £2,500 for every woman, man and child in this country.

“If this sum were used to fund public investment it could help to transform the current economic crisis and significantly raise living standards.”

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She continued: “The Tory party decision to bring forward a vote on Trident is rank hypocrisy. It is baffling that the Tories would choose to prioritise a useless non-independent weapon that we will never use.”

Jeremy Corbyn gave MPs a free vote, meaning there was no party line and no disciplinary consequences for disobeying it.