LABOUR divisions over Trident are set to resurface this week, as one of the party’s biggest donors will loudly demand the renewal of the nuclear deterrent in order to save defence jobs.

The GMB union, which tried in vain to stop Scottish Labour voting against Trident last year, will make a fresh plea to 'back the bomb' at the annual STUC congress in Dundee.

It will argue the £167bn renewal programme is “the only show in town” for tens of thousands of workers, and axing it would mean the “wilful destruction” of jobs and communities.

A motion tabled by GMB Scotland for debate on Wednesday says abandoning Trident would see working people “left to pay the pay the price” of a “politically motivated mistake” akin to the loss of the coal mines, commercial shipbuilding and swathes of manufacturing industry.

“This is not a future any self-respecting trade union should contemplate supporting,” it says.

However a rival motion from Clydebank TUC rails against nuclear weapons and misguided desire by government to have “the capacity to slaughter tens of millions”.

The row, barely a fortnight before polling day, is likely to embarrass Labour by reminding voters of its deep internal split on Trident.

Although Kezia Dugdale allowed a vote on Trident at Scottish Labour’s October conference in Perth - at which activists rejected renewal - replacing it remains Labour Party policy at a UK-level.

Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s life-long opposition to nuclear weapons, the Labour leader has been unable to convince his cabinet or MPs to back unilateral disarmament.

More than 70 per cent of unions and affiliates voted against Trident in October, on the condition that workers affected would be found new jobs.

GMB Scottish Secretary Gary Smith described the vote in Perth as “Alice in Wonderland politics promising pie in the sky jobs”.

The arithmetic will shift this week, with unaffiliated unions entering the vote.

However the STUC reaffirmed its opposition to Trident last year, and the GMB debate is more likely to highlight disunity than achieve change.

The union, which has around 50,000 Scottish members, has given Labour more than £24m.

GMB veteran Jim Moohan, chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions, said the GMB did not want nuclear weapons, but would fight for jobs until there was a clear plan for redeploying workers post-Trident.

“It’s ok other unions and the Labour party playing the moral card. But if we can’t diversify in a manner which would secure jobs, we’re left with no alternative but to stand up for the membership.”

He admitted the debate would embarrass Labour by reminding people of its divisions.

“Unfortunately it will. But the Labour party has not come to the GMB saying, 'Look we’ve got a solution on job security'. They know they have to have a long term plan in place for that to change, and they don’t have it. Nobody’s had it for the last 50, 60 years. Unless that’s in place, we have to fight for the rights of the membership.”

A senior member of another union said: “?The Tories will love it if the STUC votes for Trident. What we need to renew our manufacturing and skills base is to face the challenges of this century. Sinking all our potential into a nuclear dead end is a recipe for decline."

The STUC will also debate the EU referendum, with the local Dundee TUC backing Brexit and arguing the EU imposes austerity and undermines workers’ rights.

Nicola Sturgeon, who is at the STUC on Tuesday, said Trident was as big a relic of a bygone political age as the House of Lords, and said the SNP would oppose both.

“We can move away from Trident, end nuclear weapons on the Clyde and instead invest in alternative industries, support the workforce and back our public services.”

Scottish Labour said it opposed Trident renewal "but the money saved must be spent ensuring the thousands of people whose jobs depend on the deterrent in Scotland are found alternative work.”