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Mike's Ilford Recorder Column (11/08/2016)

The week before the summer recess saw an impressive, dominant first appearance by Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions, helped by another poor display by Jeremy Corbyn.

Two days earlier, the prime minister introduced the debate on the future of Britain's independent nuclear deterrent. The government motion to modernise Trident was in line with Labour Party policy and the manifesto on which I was re-elected last year: Along with the majority of Labour MPs, I voted for the motion.

I asked the Prime Minister, "Will she confirm that, when the Labour government of Clement Attlee took the decision to have nuclear weapons, they had to do so in a very dangerous world, and that successive Labour governments kept those nuclear weapons because there was a dangerous world? Is it not the case that now is also a dangerous time?"

Later; I referred to the 1983 general election where I was the unsuccessful Labour candidate in Ilford North. Labour had a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament and what became known as "the longest suicide note in history".

I spent the first week of the recess in China with a delegation of 20 MPs from 11 European countries of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Our intensive programme focused on defence policy, United Nations reform, international and regional security issues. One issue which came up in all our meetings was uncertainty caused by the vote for Britain to leave the EU.

During the rest of the recess, I will be at constituency events and assisting constituents as usual.

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