The Trident review – so secret that even the minister seems to be at sea.
Lord West, the former Labour defence minister, castigates the Liberal Democrats in today’s Independent over their quest for a cut price alternative to Trident, the UK’s prodigiously expensive nuclear weapon. The idea, he said, “makes little sense” and “saves the UK next to nothing.”
But how can he possibly know? Nobody appears to know anything about the review under way at the Ministry of Defence. Even the minister responsible, Philip Dunne seems a mite confused.
In a Commons exchange on Monday, the former Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth complained that he has never received any answer to the numerous questions he has tabled about the review.
“The review is blatantly the Liberal Democrats researching their manifesto at taxpayers’ expense and in secret,” he complained
Mr Dunne’s reply shed no light. “The coalition agreement made it clear that the Liberal Democrats were allowed to produce their own alternative review,” he said. “It is up to the Liberal Democrats to decide as and when they wish to publish the review’s findings.”
Actually that is not what the coalition agreement says. The mid term review, published last month, said, unequivocally “We will complete and publish the review of alternatives to Trident.” Not a word about it being up to the Lib Dems to decide if or when to publish
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