UK Opposition Seeks Explanation Over Missile Test Failure

Nuclear submarine HMS VengeanceNuclear submarine HMS Vengeance

Labour and the Scottish National Party are urging the UK government to give a full explanation to MPs on how a test firing of a Trident missile went wrong.

The unarmed missile reportedly veered off course a few weeks before MPs voted to renew the nuclear weapons system, BBC reported.

The British Ministry of Defense said submarine HMS Vengeance and its crew were “successfully tested”.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it was “extremely worrying” parliament had not been told of June’s incident.

Nia Griffith, Labour’s shadow defense secretary, is calling for the prime minister to give “a full explanation” to MPs later.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a longstanding opponent of Trident, whose submarines are based at Faslane, on the River Clyde, called the apparent misfire a “hugely serious issue”.

The SNP leader tweeted: “There should be full disclosure of what happened, who knew what/when, and why the House of Commons wasn’t told.”

The Royal Navy has carried out half a dozen such tests since 2000 and in the past has publicized successful launches, but this time did not.

The Trident system was acquired by the Margaret Thatcher government in the early 1980s as a replacement for the Polaris missile system, which the UK had possessed since the 1960s.

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