27th January 2017

Paterson Questions Transparency Of Trident Nuclear Weapon Safety

Steven Paterson MP

SNP MP for Stirling, Steven Paterson, has questioned how much information is being made available to the public surrounding the safety of nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Paterson’s question came during an urgent meeting of the House of Commons allowing MPs to put questions to the Defence Secretary in light of leaked information that the Prime Minister was previously aware of a Trident missile misfire.

Trident sub in the Clyde

A Vanguard class Trident sub in the Clyde

Mr Paterson asked if the Defence Secretary would disclose information on future weapons testing – or if the UK public would have to await the next White House briefing.

These comments were in response to a CNN report that claimed US officials had disclosed information regarding the misfire that the Defence Secretary has not brought before Parliament.

CNN reported that the misfire took place off the coast of Florida and that the missile had self-destructed at sea after suffering a malfunction.

Commenting, Steven Paterson said:

“These obscenely expensive and strategically useless weapons of mass destruction have been revealed to be unsafe and unreliable. Trident warheads are often carted across the Stirling area in vehicle convoys and many constituents have already been in touch with my office to express their serious concerns over the recent revelations of a misfire.

 “My SNP colleagues and I attended the Urgent Question session in Parliament to hold the Defence Secretary to account over the leaked revelation of this incident. It is deeply unfortunate that the UK Government’s attitude towards transparency continues to lag behind what is expected – particularly when US officials had briefed American news networks on details that the UK’s own government refused to disclose to elected MPs in Parliament.”