Trident safety to be debated at Westminster

Faslane naval base, where the Trident submarines are housed. Picture: Getty
Faslane naval base, where the Trident submarines are housed. Picture: Getty
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THE safety of Trident nuclear weapons is to be debated at Westminster next week.

The SNP said it had secured the debate on safety at the Clyde naval base for next Thursday.

HMS Vanguard, fitted with Trident missiles, at Faslane in September 1993. Picture: TSPL

HMS Vanguard, fitted with Trident missiles, at Faslane in September 1993. Picture: TSPL

The party says it will press the UK government on recent claims made by a whistleblower concerning the Trident programme.

Able Seaman William McNeilly, 25, went absent without leave last week after producing an 18-page report containing a series of allegations about the Trident submarines based at Faslane on the Clyde.

His report alleged 30 safety and security flaws on the submarines, describing them as a ‘disaster waiting to happen’.

He was later apprehended at Edinburgh Airport and is now in military police custody.

“Trident is a key issue for people in Scotland. It is bad enough that Scotland is forced to house these weapons of mass destruction but these alleged breaches of security are deeply worrying”

Alex Salmond

The Royal Navy has said it disagrees with Mr McNeilly’s “subjective and unsubstantiated” views and said it takes the operation of its submarines and the safety of its personnel extremely seriously.

At Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted that a “top-level’’ inquiry into the allegations should take place without delay.

Speaking ahead of the House of Commons debate, former SNP leader Alex Salmond, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, said: “This is the SNP in action - standing up for Scotland - in the first week of Parliament.

“The SNP will continue to keep the pressure on the Government until we are satisfied that not only have they have investigated Mr McNeilly’s claims thoroughly and have acted on the findings, but that those findings are put into the public domain.

“Trident is a key issue for people in Scotland. It is bad enough that Scotland is forced to house these weapons of mass destruction but these alleged breaches of security are deeply worrying - there must be absolutely no complacency.”