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Frankie Boyle, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Massive Attack and Prof. Peter Higgs among public figures calling for UK to scrap nuclear deterrent

Published 12/04/2015

Frankie Boyle (above), Dame Vivienne Westwood, Massive Attack and Prof. Peter Higgs come out against Trident.
Frankie Boyle (above), Dame Vivienne Westwood, Massive Attack and Prof. Peter Higgs come out against Trident.
Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs has joined other public figures calling for the UK to scrap its nuclear deterrent.
Test firing of a Trident nuclear missile: Leading figures in music, the arts and science have called for the UK to scrap its nuclear deterrent. MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire.

Frankie Boyle, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Massive Attack are among leading figures in music, the arts and science who have called for the UK to scrap its nuclear deterrent.

Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Higgs, former Royal Society president Sir Michael Atiyah and US linguist Noam Chomsky also put their names to a letter published in the Observer suggesting Britain should "move on from Trident".

Launched by political group Compass, the letter claims polling data suggested nuclear disarmament is a "majority popular demand" across the country.

The letter said: "Pinning our security on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same. The UK should become the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up all its nuclear weapons, transforming the nuclear club from within.

"Instead of protecting us, hosting nuclear weapons makes us a target for the disaffected. And any accident would lead to a humanitarian disaster. Having nuclear weapons diverts resources and attention from tackling our most urgent security problems, including climate and environmental destruction."

Trident debate: 16,000 nuclear missiles in the world - but who has them, and does UK really need its own arsenal?

It adds that investment in Trident was "actively depleting" the Armed Forces and spending should instead be focused on "conflict prevention".

Last week, Labour leader Ed Miliband reacted angrily after Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon claimed that he would "stab the United Kingdom in the back" over the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent to secure a post-election deal with the Scottish National Party.

Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, Mercury music prize winners Young Fathers and novelist Kamila Shamsie were also among the 70 signatories to the letter.

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