Shadow Defence Secretary Can't Tell Nick How Much Trident Costs
22 January 2018, 09:38
Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith insists Trident will be part of increased Defence spending under Labour. But she comes unstuck when Nick Ferrari asks her how much it will cost.
General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the British Army, will warn later that UK armed forces would struggle if pitched into battle against Russia.
Ms Griffith said that Britons wanted to feel safe and secure and defence spending was vital, including renewing Trident. But when Nick asked her how much they will need to spend on that, she was left floundering.
Here is a transcript of their conversation:
Nia Griffith: We are a rich country. We have terrible problems of inequality which we want to tackle, but the fact of the matter is this government has had a tax giveaway. They've gone down to the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G7 and they've had a tax giveaway to the very top earners. Now people in this country want a decent health service, they want a decent social care service, but they also want to know that they're safe and secure and we can afford it.
Nick Ferrari: OK. And Trident stays under a Labour government does it?
Nia Griffith: Absolutely, we've been very clear on our position on Trident. We're also very clear on the fact that...
Nick Ferrari: What is the cost of Trident?
Nia Griffith: Well the cost of Trident is part of the Defence budget but it's all part...
Nick Ferrari: No no no, what is the cost of Trident itself?
Nia Griffith: Right well I'm not going to go into the into the details of the figures now.
Nick Ferrari: Do you know what the cost of Trident is?
Nia Griffith: We... we do know how much...
Nick Ferrari: No, do you Nia Griffith know what the cost of Trident is?
Nia Griffith: Look, I'm not going to go into the figures now...
Nick Ferrari: But you are Shadow Defence Secretary and it is the day where the Army says that we probably need more men, women and kit, so I don't think it's a wholly unfair question to ask what's the cost of Trident. You don't know, do you?
Nia Griffith: Well... well what I'm going to say very clearly...
Nick Ferrari: Would you just answer... do you know?
Nia Griffith: I'm not going to go into figures now.
Nick Ferrari: Well let me put it another way. You don't know the cost of Trident, do you? And don't you think as Shadow Defence Secretary you should know?