For immediate release: 21 June 2006

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today strongly condemned Gordon Brown’s support of a new generation of nuclear weapons in Britain. CND expressed grave concern that the full public and parliamentary debate that was promised the British people last year may be pre-empted and curtailed, and that rather than a transparent decision making process taking place with a deciding vote in parliament by elected representatives of the people, that this decision will be taken behind closed doors as it was in the past over Polaris, Chevaline, and Trident itself. The Defence Select Committee is due to publish recommendations by the end of this month on the future of nuclear weapons in Britain based on an inquiry conducted earlier this year, which the MoD refused to participate in.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “We are appalled at Mr Brown’s support of a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace Trident. For the person who will likely be Prime Minister in the near future, his stance may be pre-empting the full public and parliamentary debate which Tony Blair has promised. There has also been overwhelming support from the public for a deciding vote in Parliament on Trident replacement. We fully support those MPs who demand that the deciding vote should be taken in Parliament. This issue is too serious to be taken behind closed doors; the people’s elected representatives must decide.”

Ms Hudson continued, “It is appalling that the current Chancellor of the Exchequer would support wasting approximately £25 billion on building new nuclear weapons, and billions each subsequent year to maintain them.”

The UK has been a principal actor in the recent negotiations surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme. Ms Hudson pointed out, “A decision to replace Trident would be nuclear hypocrisy of the worst order. To actively pursue a new nuclear arms race in that way will only contribute to global tensions and lead other countries to conclude that they also need to develop nuclear weapons.”

Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.