DELEGATES at the Scottish Labour conference have voted by a landslide to support scrapping the Trident nuclear weapons system.

A composite resolution, stating that nuclear weapons pose a "mortal threat to humanity's survival" if used, are "massively expensive" and calling for renewal of the Clyde-based weapons system to be abandoned was backed by more than seven in ten voters.

From both constituency Labour branches and Trade Union affiliates, just over 70 per cent backed the motion, in a historic vote. 

The resolution also calls for the establishment of defence diversification agencies which would ensure a "just transition" for communities whose livelihoods depend on the sector, although this failed to satisfy some union representatives who questioned where replacement jobs would come from in a lively debate this morning.

The debate, which was held after members overwhelmingly backed holding an open discussion over Trident, has been the most eagerly-anticipated event of the party's three-day conference in Perth and signals the backing of a position within the Scottish party that Labour has not held since the 1980s.

A mooted debate over Trident at the UK conference did not take place amid disquiet from unions. 
Delegate Stephen Low, who kicked off the debate, won large cheers as he set out the moral case against Trident, saying it should not be renewed even if it was free.

No-one should forget its primary function is to detonate a thermal nuclear bomb over a city, he said.
He added: "Fundamentally this is a life or death decision. We can choose to squander our resources, talents, the chance to build a different and better future by choosing an ever-greater capacity to dispense death.
"Or we can invest in communities, skills and the type of society we want. Let's choose life, let's cancel Trident renewal."

One 16-year-old delegate quoted Tony Benn, saying "if you can find money to kill people you can find money to help people" and backed Jeremy Corbyn's stance of stating he would never push the nuclear button should be become Prime Minister - a decision that would kill "millions of people."

MSPs Neil Findlay and Claudia Beamish spoke in favour of the resolution, backing scrapping Trident.
Speakers against it included Labour frontbencher Jackie Baillie, the Dumbarton MSP, who said 13,000 jobs were at stake.

She said: “Unlike the SNP we deal with reality not rhetoric and jobs not gestures. Reject the motion.”

In a passionate intervention, Gary Smith, of the GMB Union, said the fact that Labour was even holding the debate was an "indulgence".

Questioning where replacement jobs for Trident workers would come from, he said: "You are asking us to vote our members of out jobs... It's Alice in Wonderland politics and pie in the sky jobs."
One delegate opposed the motion stating "Putin's a nutter" and insisted that Trident was an effective deterrent.

Another, who said she had lived in Dumbarton for 43 years, said closing the base would affect everyone in the community, including her own family. "It's a source of highly paid, highly skilled employment," she said. "We're talking about thousands upon thousands of jobs."

Others said that if Britain was no longer a nuclear power it would harm the UK's influence on the world stage.

Speakers both in favour and against renewal won cheers from the audience although the most enthusiastic support came for those setting out the moral case against nuclear weapons.

The result, announced shortly after 1pm, was greeted by loud applause in the conference hall.