Celebrities call for end to Trident

Comedian Frankie Boyle, fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and the band Massive Attack are among leading figures in music, the arts and science who have called for the UK to scrap its nuclear deterrent.

Scots comic Frankie Boyle signed the anti-nuclear letter. Picture: TSPL
Scots comic Frankie Boyle signed the anti-nuclear letter. Picture: TSPL

Nobel prize winner and Edinburgh University Emeritus Professor Peter Higgs, former Royal Society president Sir Michael Atiyah and US linguist Noam Chomsky also put their names to a letter published in the Observer suggesting Britain should “move on from Trident”.

Launched by political group Compass, the letter claims polling data suggests nuclear disarmament is a “majority popular demand” across the country.

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The letter said: “Pinning our security on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same. The UK should become the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up all its nuclear weapons, transforming the nuclear club from within.

“Instead of protecting us, hosting nuclear weapons makes us a target for the disaffected.

“And any accident would lead to a humanitarian disaster. Having nuclear weapons diverts resources and attention from tackling our most urgent security problems, including climate and environmental ­destruction.”

It adds that investment in Trident was “actively depleting” the Armed Forces and spending should instead be focused on “conflict prevention”.

Last week, Labour leader Ed Miliband reacted angrily after Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon claimed that he would “stab the United Kingdom in the back” over the ­renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent to secure a post-­election deal with the Scottish National Party.

Scottish Mercury music prize winners Young Fathers and novelist Kamila Shamsie were also among the 70 signatories.