25 September 2006: embargoed until 00.01 26 September

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed an open letter sent to
Labour Party Chair Hazel Blears by 39 Labour MPs, calling for the Labour
Party Conference to debate the replacement of Trident, Britain’s nuclear
weapons system.

The letter was handed in to Labour Party representatives by Kate Hudson,
Chair of CND, on Monday afternoon.

The text of the letter is as follows:

‘Dear Hazel,

It is extremely likely that a decision on Trident will be made by the
Government in the coming period and most likely before the next Labour Party
Conference. It is regrettable therefore that Labour Party members will not
be able to have their say at this year’s Conference on this critical issue.

Even at this late stage we believe that a way should be found to permit a
thorough debate on this issue and that Conference is allowed to express its
view by way of a democratic vote.’

The letter was signed by the following 39 Labour MPs: Diane Abbott MP, John
Austin MP, Colin Burgon MP, Colin Challen MP, David Chaytor MP, Michael
Clapham MP, Katy Clark MP, Michael Connarty MP, Frank Cook MP, Jeremy Corbyn
MP, Jon Cruddas MP, Ann Cryer MP, Ian Davidson MP, Jim Dobbin MP, David Drew
MP, Paul Flynn MP, Hywel Francis MP, Neil Gerrard MP, Ian Gibson MP, John
Grogan MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Lynne Jones MP, John McDonnell MP,
Jim McGovern MP, Michael Meacher MP, Austin Mitchell MP, Chris Mullin
MP, Gordon Prentice MP, Gwyn Prosser MP, Linda Riordan MP, Alan Simpson MP,
Geraldine Smith MP, Peter Soulsby MP, Gavin Strang MP, Jon Trickett MP, Dr
Des Turner MP, Robert Wareing MP, Betty Williams MP, Mike Wood MP.

Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said, “We welcome the initiative by these 39
Labour MPs calling on the Labour Party to allow a democratic debate on this
issue of extreme national and international importance. John Reid promised a
full public debate on the issue in 2005 which has not yet happened, and now
the Labour Party is even refusing to discuss the issue amongst itself. The
government has said a decision will be taken by the end of the year – it’s
time that people’s voices are heard on this issue.”


Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s
Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest
single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND
campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.