War of words rages as SNP/Labour tie-up threatens Tories
Michael Fallon has come under fire after unleashing a vitriolic personal attack on Ed Miliband over the prospect of a Labour/SNP coalition abandoning a programme to renew Trident – the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet.
Fallon, the defense secretary, said that Miliband had “stabbed his brother in the back”, to get the Labour leadership, and “would do the same to Britain”, regarding its nuclear weapons programme.
The remarks come as fears of a Labour tie-up with the SNP have gained greater currency following the SNP’s surge in the polls.
But the personal nature of Fallon’s attack has undermined his argument, some have said. Tim Montgomerie, the founder of the ConservativeHome website, tweeted: “Embarrassing: way too personal from Michael Fallon against Ed Miliband.”
BBC political producer Sam Macrory said that the Tories still seem to be working out their plan of attack on Miliband.
First he was red. Then weird. Then useless. Now ruthless. Get the feeling the Tories are still (late in the day) working out Miliband attack
— Sam Macrory (@sammacrory) April 9, 2015
National security risk
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has previously described Trident as a “red line issue”, in any talks with Labour, indicating that her party would not co-operate with any plans to renew the fleet.
David Cameron said that the SNP is holding Ed Miliband to ransom over the issue.
The SNP are planning to hold Ed Miliband to ransom on Trident. A Conservative government would never put our national security at risk.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) April 9, 2015
Labour says it supports the UK’s nuclear programme.
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said to the BBC that the Labour Party had made it “crystal clear” that it supports the renewal of Trident.
Speaking on the Today Programme, Alexander said: “This is not up for negotiation with the SNP or with any other party. I don’t know how I can say it plainer than that.”
Ed Miliband responded calmly to Fallon’s attack, saying that “Michael Fallon is a decent man but he has demeaned himself and he has demeaned his office,” ITV news reports.