FORMER firebrand and now Labour MP for Blaydon, David Anderson has been challenged to come off the fence and oppose the government’s plans to replace the Trident nuclear submarines by a leading local Liberal Democrat.
A vote on whether or not to replace the Trident submarines will be taken on Wednesday 14th March when up to 100 Labour MPs are expected to rebel and vote against the plans.
The government is expected to win however as the Conservatives are voting with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jonathan Wallace, who represents Whickham in the heart of Blaydon constituency on Gateshead Council said, “Mr Anderson has been strangely quiet on this matter.
“Since the general election in 2005 when he was first elected, Mr Anderson has been a loyal supporter of Mr Blair, voting consistently for government measures.
“If Mr Anderson is voting to support the government yet again, perhaps he is hoping to do so under the radar, hoping no one in Blaydon will notice.
“I am calling on him to vote against replacement now. And whether or not he is voting with the government, I am calling on him to make his views clear before the debate.
“Taking a decision on replacing the Trident submarines now pre-empts the outcome of the international nuclear disarmament talks due to be held in 2010 and could cause them to fail.
“And it will encourage countries such as Iran to continue developing their own nuclear programme.
“The most sensible course of action is to decide whether or not to replace Trident, with all the costs involved, after we have seen the outcome of the nuclear disarmament talks.
“That is why Liberal Democrat MPs will be voting against the Blair, Brown and Cameron decision to press ahead with replacement now on 14th March.”