‘Spend Money On Hospitals, Not Weapons of Mass Destruction’ says Leanne Wood

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Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has criticised Westminster’s backing for the replacement of the UK’s nuclear missiles at a cost of more than £100 billion over its lifetime.

Following a debate earlier this week, the House of Commons voted to replace the Trident weapons system with a majority of 355 MPs. More than half of Labour MPs joined with the Tories to back the replacement of the nuclear submarines which are based at Faslane in Scotland.

Among those who voted against Trident replacement were the three Plaid Cymru MPs.

Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said at a time of increasing cuts in the public sector and diminishing local services, it made no sense to spend so much money on a "relic of the cold war."

"We can't afford to keep our precious public services open - like day centres, schools, libraries, paddling pools," said Penygraig-based Ms Wood.

"We can't afford much needed investment in our health services, support for those with disabilities, pensioners or decent public transport. The numbers of people using food banks continue to rise. Save the Children say 1 in 3 children in Wales live in poverty – the highest of any nation in the UK.

"Somehow we can still afford to replace the nuclear weapon arsenal and further wars, with no worry as to the cost. There is something not right about this in my view. The money would be far better spent on new and improved public facilities like hospitals and schools."

Ms Wood added: "Nuclear warheads are a relic of the cold war. They do nothing to address the main threats that face the UK today. According to the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the two main threats posed to the UK are from terrorism and espionage, which includes cyber-crime.

"Nuclear missiles do nothing to counter those threats. You could even argue that they make the UK more of a target from those two main threats.

"That is why I was pleased that all Plaid Cymru MPs voted to oppose replacing nuclear missiles and was disappointed to see that more than half of the Labour MPs backing the Tories on this."

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