LABOUR have sought to lay to rest accusations made by the Conservatives that they would damage the future of the shipyard.

In a high-profile intervention, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith accused the Tories of ‘making mischief’ in saying a Labour government were not committed to the yard.

It came days after Labour’s manifesto signalled the party’s intention to renew the trident nuclear deterrent and figures gave their backing to the Dreadnought submarine programme.

Ms Griffith during a visit to Barrow said: “I think it’s very irresponsible for the Conservatives to say things like this.

“This is a programme which is something which we would hope that successive governments would continue.

“It is such an important part of our defence and security.

“It’s not something that people should be playing games with and we’re absolutely committed to it.

“They know that they’ve seen it in our manifesto. And this is just mischief making on an enormous scale.”


Chris Altree, the Barrow and Furness Labour candidate, backed up the frontbencher’s comments and accused Conservative candidate Simon Fell of resorting to personal attacks on him.

He said old social media posts asking if other products could be built at the shipyard rather than nuclear submarines had been taken out of context and did not mean he was against the Dreadnought programme.

“At the start of the campaign Simon Fell signed a pledge against making personal attacks - it seems he doesn’t even want to honour his own pledge.

“He wants to bring things down to the low dirty level of smears.”

Mr Fell hit back at the claims and said he had simply pointed out what he had said in public.

He said: “I haven’t smeared him - I’ve just pointed out what he said in a public forum.”

He added: “If the Labour candidate has nothing to hide then why did he delete his old tweets, including the ones where he questioned the cost of Dreadnought and why we have to built submarines in the yard at all?

“And if Trident is safe with Labour why did so few of his own shadow cabinet vote against renewal, including Ms Griffiths?

“And why has Mr Corbyn sacked every Shadow Defence Secretary who has stated that they support the work in the Yard?

“The answer is clear: Jeremy Corbyn is still Vice President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and would be a disaster for Barrow and our national security. Barrow would not be safe in his hands.”

Barrovians will get their chance to vote with their feet at the General Election on December 12.