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Devine quits in nuke protest; Exclusive.

Byline: By James Lyons

JIM DEVINE will quit his post in the Government next week in protest at replacing Trident.

The Scots Labour MP will resign before the crunch Commons vote on a new nuclear missile system.

He is the first Westminster casualty of the row over pounds 20billion plans to replace Britain's ageing nuclear submarines.

Livingston MP Devine is quitting as Commons aide to health minister Rosie Winterton. Several other parliamentary private secretaries are threatening to follow suit.

Devine, 53, was Robin Cook's election agent and won his seat in the election following Cook's death.

He has a history of campaigning against nuclear weapons and thinks the money would be better spent on improving the armed forces' pay and conditions.

The vote on Wednesday could cause Labour huge embarrassment ahead of the Holyrood elections.

Around 100 Labour MPs are likely to back an amendment calling for the decision to be delayed.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown insist it must be taken now so new subs are ready when the Faslanebased fleet comes out of service.

The PM and Chancellor do not want to have to rely on support from the Tories to get the go a head for the new system.

And the Nats will claim victory if a majority of the 59 MPs representing Scotland do not back the plans.

Both the SNP and Lib Dems will vote against the Government.

Labour whips are working frantically to stop rebels lining up alongside them.

Blair has even had some in for private chats at No 10.


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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 10, 2007
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