Corbyn hits out at head of armed forces for intervening in politics

General expresses concern over Labour leader’s views on Trident nuclear deterrent

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with football fans protesting against football ticket prices before Arsenal’s match against Spurs in London on Sunday. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with football fans protesting against football ticket prices before Arsenal’s match against Spurs in London on Sunday. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire.

 

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at the head of Britain’s armed forces after he publicly expressed concern about Mr Corbyn’s views on the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Mr Corbyn said the comments by Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton were a breach of the constitutional principle that the military did not intervene directly in matters of political dispute.

He said he would be writing to defence secretary Michael Fallon calling on him to ensure “the neutrality of the armed forces is upheld”.

His intervention came after Sir Nicholas said he would “worry” if Mr Corbyn became prime minister with a commitment never to use Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

He warned that a premier who had made clear – as Mr Corbyn has done – that there were no circumstances in which they would press the nuclear button would undermine the credibility of the deterrent.

Mr Corbyn said: “It is a matter of serious concern that the chief of the defence staff has today intervened directly in issues of political dispute.

“It is essential in a democracy that the military remains politically neutral at all times.”