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SNP warn Jeremy Corbyn may need to scrap Trident as price of coalition

Ian Blackford has warned that Labour may need to ditch Trident in order to come to a coalition 
Ian Blackford has warned that Labour may need to ditch Trident in order to come to a coalition  Credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Scrapping Britain’s nuclear capacity could be the price Jeremy Corbyn has to pay for a coalition with the SNP.

The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has signalled that getting rid of Trident would be a key issue on the negotiating table in the case of a hung parliament.

Mr Blackford said his party have been "pretty consistent" that they "don't wish to see nuclear weapons" on their soil.

“To waste up to £200 billion on these weapons of mass destruction that can never be used is a fallacy,” he said.

He added that the SNP will "come up with a wish list" of policies they want to secure for a potential coalition government to be formed.

The SNP's parliamentary candidate for Ross, Skye and Lochaber added that nuclear weapons "are not fit for purpose".

He said: "We would simply say that these weapons are not fit for purpose. The simple fact of the matter is I'm not sure that we're taking our responsibilities for conventional defences as seriously as we should be doing.”

Mr Blackford was also questioned on whether the SNP would form a coalition pact with Labour after Mr Corbyn said he would not grant a second Scottish independence referendum "in the early years" of his leadership.

Royal Navy's 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard Credit: PA Wire/PA Wire

He said it should be "the Scottish people, the Scottish Parliament that decides when and how we're having a referendum".

This morning Labour’s shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith stressed her party is “absolutely committed to keeping the nuclear deterrent”.

However, she would not confirm whether or not the Labour leader would ever use nuclear weapons.

She said: “It wouldn't be appropriate for me to make any comment. But I can assure you that the defence of this country is at the foremost in Jeremy's mind.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said he had "deep concerns" a governing pact between Labour and the SNP could "put at risk Scotland and the UK's security in a changing and dangerous world".

He said: "Russian submarines are in the North Atlantic and there is an aggressive Russian posture across Eastern Europe threatening Nato allies.

"Trident is a really important deterrent against them. Corbyn is rolling the dice over Britain's defence and Sturgeon is doing the same with Scotland's security."