CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – NUCLEAR WEAPONS – 9 December 1998

Dr Julian Lewis: If it is his policy to maintain an independent nuclear deterrent until it is possible to verify the permanent abolition of all other countries' mass destruction weapons?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] May I congratulate the Prime Minister on his belated conversion to the cause of nuclear deterrence, now that the danger has largely receded? Does he recall that, on a previous occasion when I asked him a question, he evaded it by referring back 20 years, to my past membership of an extremely dodgy organisation – the Labour party – in the 1970s? Will he now clear up a mystery about his membership of an even more dodgy organisation in the 1980s? Will he tell the House, once and for all, why, at the height of the cold war, he belonged to the Campaign for – unilateral – Nuclear Disarmament; when he finally decided to leave it; and why, as recently as 1994, he allowed his office repeatedly and wrongly to deny that he had ever even been a member of it?