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West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes says that the failed test launch of a Trident nuclear submarine missile must serve as a wake-up call to the UK government.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed this week that “an anomaly” occurred during the latest test launch of a Trident II ballistic missile, which took place on January 30 off the coast of Florida – the second time in a row there has been a test misfiring.

It follows questions raised in the House of Commons last month by local SNP MP Martin over safety concerns about the deteriorating condition of nuclear infrastructure at Faslane and Coulport naval bases.

Martin Docherty-Hughes, the SNP’s defence spokesperson, said the failure to test launch one of the UK’s nuclear missiles, combined with the immorality of the weapons, shows why the Tories have been wrong to prioritise spending on weapons of mass destruction over conventional military capabilities and funding to tackle growing societal inequalities.

The price tag of each missile is around £17m and the last test was in 2016 when it also ended in failure when the missile veered off course.

It’s expected the cost of renewing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons systems will exceed £80 billion, during a cost-of-living crisis in which many families are struggling to keep up with mortgage, food and energy costs.

The SNP has repeatedly called for Britain’s costly nuclear weapons programme – which is backed by both the Tories and Labour – to be scrapped.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“This was a seriously expensive failure, and one that is symptomatic of the UK government’s wider defence spending and strategy.

“The financial burden imposed by Trident renewal is enormous and is coming at a great cost to our conventional military capabilities and ability to focus money on other priorities like supporting households through a cost-of-living crisis.

“This is the second failed test in a row of weapons that are costing us tens of billions – an embarrassing and scandalous fact that should serve as a wake-up call to the UK government.

“It speaks volumes of Westminster’s spending priorities that it is intent on increasing its collection of weapons of mass destruction – which will sit and gather dust unless the UK has plans to indiscriminately wipe out entire populations – rather than address the serious challenges in both our conventional capabilities and the inequalities in our society that have been further exposed by over a decade of Tory rule.”

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