Senior conservative MP and Commons Defence Committee chair Julian Lewis has said that anybody that tried to “draw a veil” over the Trident missile test failure, should be sacked. His unequivocal words come as it has been revealed that Downing Street did know about the test.
He said the government were trying to play both ways by releasing footage of successful tests while covering up the one that failed. The test took place in June last year.
Cabinet Minister Greg Clark tried to say that the government had a policy of not releasing test results, but this was shown to be untrue as press releases have been circulated about previous tests of the system.
Theresa May Refused to Answer a Direct Question
The issue has been compounded by the fact that Theresa May refused to answer questions on the issue when interviewed on TV despite being asked directly four times.
The issue has come to light as a few weeks after the failed test, parliament voted whether or not to renew Britain’s Trident programme, its nuclear deterrent.
Mr Lewis in a radio interview said that although the decision to hide the test failure was taken by former Prime Minister, David Cameron, you would at some point be expected to explain what had happened.
He said, “This sort of event is not one you can play both ways. These tests are routine but infrequent in this country.
“Whenever they work, which is 99 percent of the time, film is released of them working so whichever person decided they wanted to draw a veil over one that didn’t work should have been sacked.
“You have always got to assume that something like this will come out.”
Greg Clark Fails to Answer
When Greg Clark was challenged on his claim that tests are not released to the public by Sky News, the interview was disrupted by a poor signal, and Clark, like May, could not give a clear answer to the question.
MPs voted to renew Trident at a cost of around £40bn last year.