MP slammed for not voting on Trident issue


Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson has hit out at MP Jo Swinson for failing to turn up to vote against the renewal of Trident in Westminster last week.

Mr Paterson said the Liberal Democrat politician was too busy trying to hang on to her seat in the May General Election by blaming the SNP Government for things not in their remit – such as potholes – rather than vote on the crucial issue of spending £100 billion to renew a weapon that could never be used.

He said: “This latest no-show from Jo proves that she is completely out of touch with the vital national issues over which she and her coalition Government have control.

“The fact that she doesn’t think it matters whether she votes to spend this obscene amount of money on a nuclear weapon when it could be used to create more jobs, new schools, better housing and raise the standard of living for disadvantaged people defies belief.

“Trident also stops the exploitation of the massive oil reserves that are in the Clyde basin which would transform the western seaboard of Scotland and boost our economy.

“Over the last few weeks we have seen Jo Swinson trying to blame the SNP Government for potholes in the road, class sizes and absenteeism at East Dunbartonshire Council – all of which she knows are devolved to the local authority.

“Such desperation and lack of attention to her duty as a Westminster MP only reflects what more and more of her constituents are saying to me on a daily basis – that Jo is now out of touch with many people’s views in Scotland.”

MP’s voted for the renewal of Trident which will cost in the region of £100 billion.

Ms Swinson said: “The SNP care more about moving the nuclear deterrent a few hundred miles down the coast than actually making progress on global nuclear disarmament. The best way to reduce the world’s nuclear weapons is through multilateral negotiation, not unilateral disarmament, which is why I didn’t support the SNP’s motion.

“Unlike Labour and the Tories, the Liberal Democrats oppose a like-for-like Trident replacement which cannot be justified in terms of cost or security. We should step down the nuclear ladder and end the outdated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year continuous at-sea patrolling designed to meet a threat from the Soviet Union that no longer exists. In the Coalition Government the LibDems commissioned the Trident Alternatives Review, the most thorough review of nuclear systems the UK has ever made public. We’d reduce the number of successor nuclear submarines.”