Nuclear weapons

New Labour leader questioned over nuclear weapon views

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ellis Butcher

The new leader of the ruling Labour group on Barrow Borough Council has been questioned about her views on the nuclear submarines made at the town's shipyard.

Councllor Ann Thomson replaced Councillor Dave Pidduck, who had served 12 years in the role, after the recent elections.

But both the town's Independent MP John Woodcock, and the Conservative parliamentary candidate Simon Fell, called on her to “renounce” her previous opposition to the multibillion-pound nuclear weapons system.

Mr Woodcock said: “I have great respect for Ann Thomson and look forward to working with her, but it is concerning Barrow Labour wants someone who has long opposed Trident to lead the local authority.”

Councillor Thomson said this was "political posturing", and insisted she and her party supported the shipyard.

My ideal world would be one where we didn’t need to have nuclear weapons. But our party supports them, it has gone through conference and we support it."

Dreadnought artist's impression
BAE Systems

Peers warn against conflict with Iran

Ministers face pressure to do more to save nuclear agreement with Iran.
The Government has been warned that there is a growing threat of conflict with Iran amid concerns that the nuclear deal with Tehran could collapse. Speaking in the Lords, a former Security Minister gave a warning that the situation was becoming "extremely dangerous" and military action would be a "catastrophe". Simon Jones reports.
And you can hear more from Today in Parliament every weekday evening at 11.30pm on BBC Radio 4 or on the BBC Sounds app.

Nuclear sub will be named after Queen's father

The Royal Navy is gradually picking names for the submarines that will be built in Barrow over the next decade or so to carry Britain's nuclear deterrent when the current Vanguard class vessels are retired.

Today the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has announced the latest decision, with quite a lot of history packed into the thread.

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  • A service is being held at Westminster Abbey this afternoon, attended by Prince William, to mark 50 years of the UK having a submarine carrying nuclear missiles at sea at all times, or the Continuous at Sea Deterrent, as the Royal Navy calls it.
N Korea 'unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons'
Pyongyang sees nuclear arms as key to "regime survival", the US national intelligence director says.

Good news: Doomsday is not yet upon us

Doomsday Clock remains at 2 minutes to midnight for the second year running.
American atomic scientists created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 at the time of the Cold War, as a metaphor for global apocalypse. The hands of the clock are moved once a year, depending on how scientists view the threat to humanity's existence from technology and ourselves. The closer to midnight, the closer we are to self-destruction. 
      Last year the clock was moved to two minutes to midnight. This year, the hands are in the same place. So we're no closer to blowing ourselves up. Sharon Squassoni is from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which sets the hands.