The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) today expressed dismay at the decision to remove Nick Harvey from his post as Minister for the Armed Forces.

It is a move which will leave no Liberal Democrats remaining in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), at a time when the Lib Dems are arguing for alternatives to Trident replacement.

Nick Harvey was running the ‘Trident Alternatives Review’ – a Coalition Agreement concession which allowed the Lib Dems to review and present alternative options to a like-for-like replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. It has been suggested that the review will continue, but will be overseen by David Laws from outside of the MoD.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

“This is a blow to all those inside and outside the Liberal Democrats who want Trident to be reviewed. Even though they have not opposed nuclear weapons outright, they, and Nick Harvey in particular, forced the Tories to conduct a Trident Alternatives Review and he pushed the review forward. Now this lone dissenting voice has been purged from the MoD.”

“It’s not clear what the implications will be for the future of the Trident Alternatives Review, but it will be a hard struggle to argue against such huge and unacceptable MoD expenditure from outside the department.”