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Trident whistleblower is held by Navy police

By Lucinda Cameron

Published 20/05/2015

Arrest: William McNeilly
Arrest: William McNeilly

A Royal Navy submariner from Co Antrim who published an online dossier of safety and security concerns about the Trident nuclear programme has been apprehended.

Able Seaman William McNeilly (25) went absent without leave last week after producing an 18-page report containing a series of allegations about the Trident submarines based at Faslane on the Clyde.

He was stopped on Monday night at Edinburgh Airport and is now being held by Royal Navy Police at a military establishment in Scotland, the Ministry of Defence said.

The Newtownabbey man's report alleged 30 safety and security flaws on the submarines, describing them as a '"disaster waiting to happen''.

An MoD spokesman said: "The Royal Navy disagrees with McNeilly's subjective and unsubstantiated personal views but we take the operation of our submarines and the safety of our personnel extremely seriously and so continue to fully investigate the circumstances of this issue."

The MoD said Able Seaman McNeilly will face consequences for being absent without leave but would not comment on whether he will face any sort of proceedings over his Trident report.

In his report, which was published online and also sent to newspapers and journalists, Mr McNeilly says he is an engineering technician submariner who has been on patrol with the Trident submarine HMS Victorious.

He claimed there were fire risks and leaks on board and security checks were rarely carried out when they were docked at the Faslane base.

He also alleged that alarms were muted because they went off so often, missile safety procedures were ignored and top-secret information was left unguarded.

Mr McNeilly said he raised concerns with senior officers but decided to publish his claims because they were ignored.

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