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Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg calls for change in Nuclear weapon policy

April 12, 2010 12:00 AM

"President Obama is absolutely right. The nuclear threats of the future are proliferation and terrorism, not a Cold War standoff," the Liberal Democrat Leader said.

The Liberal Democrats today attacked Labour and the Conservatives for being stuck in a Cold War mentality when it comes to nuclear weapons policy.

As one of the most significant meetings of its kind since the 1940s takes place in Washington, Labour is reported to have dropped its plans to reduce the number of Trident-carrying submarines, while David Cameron has today defended the system on the basis of it potentially being needed against China.

Although the US and Russia recently signed a landmark deal on cutting nuclear stockpiles, and President Obama has today identified terrorism as the greatest nuclear threat, neither Labour nor the Conservatives will even include Trident or Britain's nuclear weapons policy in the upcoming defence review.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said:

"Gordon Brown should be standing shoulder to shoulder with President Obama and his campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

"Instead, we hear on the day of the summit that Brown has secretly rowed back on his modest commitment to reduce the number of Trident submarines.

"President Obama is absolutely right. The nuclear threats of the future are proliferation and terrorism, not a Cold War standoff. Yet Labour and the Tories won't even consider Trident as part of the defence review. They are stuck in a Cold War timewarp.

"They remain totally wedded to replacing Trident with a like-for-like system, originally designed to wipe out Moscow at the touch of a button.

"Labour and the Tories may attack each other for taking this country back to the 1980s - but the truth is that neither of them seem to have noticed that the Cold War is over."