Today’s Independent reports that London Mayor Ken Livingstone is one of a group of leading names who have signed a petition opposing a “rushed” decision to replace the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
The Mayor’s co-signatories include Professor Stephen Hawking, LibDem Leader Sir Menzies Campbell, The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Thomas Butler and London MP Diane Abbott.
In a statement issued yesterday Mr Livingstone said “The Cold War is long over. The great challenge of the 21st century will be to prevent catastrophic climate change. Rather than wasting billions on new weapons of mass destruction, Britain should demonstrate real world leadership by investing in a radical programme to cut carbon emissions.”
In all 100 leading figures from the world of politics, the arts and religious leaders have signed the petition which states:
“We believe that:
Britain should not be rushed into a premature decision to replace its Trident nuclear weapons system;
More time should be taken for parliamentary and public scrutiny and debate;
The urgent need is both to halt the spread of nuclear weapons to new countries, and for all states which possess them to move more rapidly and substantially towards nuclear disarmament;
The priority for the Government should be a renewed diplomatic initiative to seek a breakthrough in disarmament and non-proliferation negotiations, similar to the lead it has taken in relation to such global challenges as climate change and poverty. “