PRIME MINISTER MUST ANSWER ON TRIDENT COVER UP

Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, has joined with his colleague Angus Robertson MP – the SNP’s Westminster Leader – in calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to personally come to Parliament this week and tell MPs exactly what and when she knew about the reported Trident missile launch malfunction and alleged UK Government cover up.

The SNP want the Prime Minister to make clear what she knew about the malfunction when she made the case for renewal of the £200 billion weapons of mass destruction programme in July 2016 – and why MPs weren’t informed before the renewal vote.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday 22 January, the Prime Minister refused – four times – to say whether she knew about the malfunction at the time of the Trident vote.

Commenting, Angus Robertson MP said:

“The Prime Minister must come to parliament this week and outline exactly what she knew – and when – about this reported malfunction and alleged UK government cover up.

“It would be utterly unacceptable, and deeply serious, if it turns out that this information was deliberately kept from MPs at the time of the renewal vote for the Trident weapons of mass destruction programme.

“Parliament and the public have a right to know if these reports are true, and there must be full disclosure about what happened, who knew, when they knew, and why the House of Commons wasn’t informed. The Prime Minister cannot continue to dodge the question.”

Owen Thompson MP added:

“My colleagues and I have stated time and again that Trident is obscenely expensive and morally repugnant. I have consistently raised the possibility that it is also unreliable, and highlighted previous safety concerns – this now must raise massive question marks over its viability.

“58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs – across party lines – voted against Trident renewal last summer. With Trident costs spiralling out of control, and with this new information raising further safety concerns, we will be asking questions and demanding answers.”

MIDLOTHIAN MP STANDS WITH SCOTTISH ANTI-TRIDENT GROUPS AT WESTMINSTER MASS LOBBY

Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, will offer his support to representatives of Scottish groups opposed to the replacement of Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system, when they attend a Stop Trident mass lobby at Westminster next Wednesday 13 July ahead of a planned vote to renew the Trident Weapons system next Monday.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has called the mass lobby, along with 20 other UK anti-nuclear organisations, asking constituents to visit their MPs in person and share their opposition to the renewal of Trident at a cost of at least £205 billion.

The lobby comes ahead of the parliamentary vote on Monday 18th July, unexpectedly called by David Cameron at the weekend, on whether or not to replace Trident.

Mr Thompson has been clear on his opposition to the replacement of the weapons system.  In January 2016, Mr Thompson sponsored a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons calling for an end to convoys of nuclear weapons on the streets of the UK, after numerous contacts from his Midlothian constituents raising concerns over convoys passing close to their homes, businesses and schools.  The Bill was granted a second reading but was talked out by opposing MPs.

Owen Thompson MP said:

“I am delighted to meet the delegation from Scotland and to accept their letter from constituents across Scotland condemning the renewal of Trident.  As my SNP colleagues and I have pointed out many times before, Trident is an obscene and immoral weapon of mass destruction,  especially in this time of financial uncertainty.”

“It is absolutely indefensible for this Government to plan further austerity measures which will impact our most vulnerable constituents disproportionately, while at the same time preparing to spend over £200 billion on replacing Trident. ”

“It’s time for the UK Government to rid this Country, and the World, of these weapons of mass destruction”

Janet Fenton, Secretary of Scottish CND said:

“The UK government can win Commons support for their intention to renew Trident. Yet a block of the SNP, the Greens, Lib Dems and Labour MPs could seek for a delay to the decision, given the current political chaos.

“Let’s be clear – this is not about some strategic abstraction. If you vote for renewal you are indicating your readiness to kill millions of people, to cause hideous suffering to many more and to risk triggering a global climate catastrophe.”

TRIDENT RENEWAL COSTS ‘STAGGERING AND OUT OF CONTROL’: BILL FOR NUCLEAR ARSENAL HAS NOW BREACHED £200 BILLION

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson joined with his SNP Westminster Group colleagues today in again condemning the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme, as SNP Defence spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP said that the new report from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) – which has calculated the cost of renewing the Trident nuclear programme has now breached the £200 billion mark – shows the project is ‘staggering and out of control’.

The UK Government is determined to proceed with the project – even with this new extraordinary price tag  – and plans to dump the nuclear arsenal on the Clyde for the next 50 years despite opposition from the Scottish Government, 57 of Scotland’s 59 MPs, churches, trade unions and civic society.

SNP Defence spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP commented:

”These figures are just staggering – and if even remotely accurate show the whole project is out of control before a vote has even been taken in parliament to renew.

”The escalating cost of this immoral weapon must now make the UK government stop the whole renewal. The SNP will take every opportunity to vote against Trident.  It is obscene and completely redundant and Westminster seems hell bent on dumping it on the Clyde – it would appear at any cost.

”Trident renewal has always been utterly indefensible – and these costs will almost certainly only go one way from here – even further up.”

Owen Thompson MP said:

“I would reiterate that Trident is an obscene and immoral weapon of mass destruction.  And at a time when we are being told how we must implement further austerity measures across the UK, leaving our most vulnerable constituents even worse off, surely we cannot move forward with this expenditure.  Not only is this morally wrong, it is fiscally irresponsible.”

[photo from cross-party MPs Against Trident meeting, February 2016]