Theresa May confirms she is prepared to kill 100,000 men, women and children in a nuclear strike
Theresa May vowed to pull the trigger and launch Trident if it came to it as she accused Labour of 'defending the country's enemies'
Britain's new Prime Minister tonight confirmed she was ready to annihilate millions of people in a nuclear strike.
Theresa May vowed to pull the trigger and launch the UK's Trident missiles against an enemy if it came to it - as Labour continued to tear itself apart over renewing the country's ultimate weapon.
Jeremy Corbyn was poised to vote against building four new submarines to replace the ageing Vanguard fleet at a cost of £31bn – despite constructing new subs being Labour's official position.
But buoyed by supportive comments from Labour MPs, the Tory Prime Minister blasted Mr Corbyn and Caroline Lucas ahead of tonight's 10pm vote.
How did my MP vote on renewing Trident? Search by name or constituency after heated nuclear debate
"Sadly she and some members of the Labour party seem to be the first to defend the country's enemies," she declared - prompting a furious response from the Green MP.
Theresa May said there was no option other than to say she'd pull the trigger
The Commons was set to back replacing the four Royal Navy's nuclear-armed boats in the face of opposition from some leading Labour MPs, a handful of Tory rebels, the SNP and Lib Dems.
The Prime Minister was asked if she would give the order to fire the Trident D5 missile knowing it would inflict mass casualties.
SNP MP George Kerevan said: "Is she prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that would kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children?"
Mrs May replied simply: "Yes."
And she said it was wrong of Jeremy Corbyn to say he would not pull the trigger on the "ultimate insurance" policy in a dangerous world.
She tried to exploit Labour divisions over giving the green light to Successor subs.
Mrs May tried to exploit Labour divisions over the party's nuclear weapons policy
She said: "I think it is a great pity that there are members of the Labour Party 's front bench today who fail to see the necessity of this nuclear deterrent, given that the Labour Party in the past has put the British national interest first in looking at this issue."
Senior Labour MP John Woodcock, who represents Barrow where the submarines will be built, told Mrs May it remained "steadfastly" the party's policy to retain the deterrent.
He added: "Many of my colleagues will do the right thing for the long-term security of our nation and vote to complete the programme that we ourselves started in government."
She accused Caroline Lucas and Labour MPs of "defending the country's enemies"
Veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Mr Corbyn outlined his opposition to Trident, and has repeatedly said he would not authorise a strike if he was in No 10.
"I would not take a decision that kills millions of innocent people," he said.
"I do not believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate way to go about international relations."
He told MPs it was "time for us to step up to the plate" on nuclear disarmament.
He declared: "Do these Weapons of Mass Destruction, for that is what they are, act as a deterrent to what we face? And is that deterrent credible?"
Mr Corbyn was supported by Tory Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Crispin Blunt, who attacked the cost and blasted his party for politicising the vote.
"This is a political weapon aimed rather effectively at the Labour party ," he said.
The independent House of Commons Library today outlined the enormous costs of renewing Trident.
It showed the first concept phase had a £905m budget, followed by a £3.9bn assessment phase and £31bn cost of building the subs - with a £10bn contingency.
The costs of running the submarines is currently around £2.1bn a year.
Over the life of the fleet, with inflation, this could be between £70.4bn at one estimate at £140.5bn at another.
At the higher estimate, and if the contingency is used up, this could total more than £180billion.
Jeremy Corbyn was continually hit by pro-Trident comments from his own MPs
But Mrs May told Mr Corbyn: "The whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to (use it) - unlike some suggestions that we could have a nuclear deterrent but not actually be willing to use it, which come from the Labour Party frontbench."
Mr Corbyn pointed to his overwhelming victory in the 2015 leadership race which followed his passionate attack in nuclear weapons.
Defying his own party's policy, he pointed to his personal support, telling one of his MPs: "He's as well aware as I am of what the existing policy is.
"He's also as well aware as I am of the views that I put forward in the leadership election last year, on my views on nuclear weapons."
19 JUL 2016
19 JUL 2016
BY BEN GLAZE , DAN BLOOM
News UK News Labour Party