Artists and scientists in joint call for Trident to be scrapped
Comedian Frankie Boyle and Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Higgs among 70 to sign joint letter.
Comedian Frankie Boyle and Nobel prize winner Professor Peter Higgs are among leading figures in music, the arts and science who have made a new call for Trident to be scrapped.
Former Royal Society president Sir Michael Atiyah, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Massive Attack and US linguist Noam Chomsky also put their names to a letter published in the Observer suggesting Britain should "move on" from the nuclear deterrent.
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."
It adds that investment in Trident was "actively depleting" the Armed Forces and spending should instead be focused on "conflict prevention".
Theoretical physicist Prof Higgs was given the Nobel prize after first proposing the existence of what became known as the Higgs boson particle.
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.