Cost of Trident delay inevitable result of the compromise of coalition

Defence secretary Liam Fox’s admission that the Trident delay announced in last month’s Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) will cost up to £1.4 billion attracted fresh criticism of the government’s handling of the issue. John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow – where the submarines are built – claimed the coalition was “playing politics with Britain’s national security” by delaying the decision on Trident renewal for five years so as to avoid a Liberal Democrat revolt on the issue.

Coalition needs to work out where it stands on Trident

The call by former defence chiefs Lords Bramall, Beach and Ramsbotham to delay a new Trident programme for at least another 15 years as Britain no longer requires an “all-singing, all-dancing” version as currently planned, raises fresh concerns as to both the strategic value and value to the tax payer of the £97 billion defence procurement programme.

Special expediency

Nine months ago Nick Clegg vowed to remove government special advisers’ salaries from the taxpayers burden. He is now spending £165,000 on his two spads.