The government’s £285m spend on Trident replacement announced yesterday is an insult to those suffering from the £300m cuts to legal aid, CND has said, describing it as a ‘stark barometer of the government’s priorities.’

This week the Justice Select Committee warned that a third of domestic violence victims would be unable to access legal aid following huge spending cuts.

The Ministry of Defence’s announcement will see BAE Systems receive £257m for further design work on the ‘Successor’ nuclear-armed submarines, while Babcock and Rolls-Royce will receive £22m and £6m respectively for work on the submarines’ nuclear reactors.

This release is a fraction of the £3.3bn the MoD has said it will spend ahead of the parliamentary vote on Trident replacement expected in 2016.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

‘This £285m splurge is a stark barometer of the government’s priorities.

‘Just this week, the Justice Select Committee warned of the consequences of the £300m cuts to legal aid which have left a third of victims of domestic violence without access to justice.

‘It’s boom time for the makers of nuclear weapons – while some of the most vulnerable in our society are left suffering by the wayside. This is a bleak snapshot of 21st-century Britain.

‘David Cameron is content to spend billions in order to strut on the world stage with a Cold War weapon and an inflated sense of importance, while forcing those who are most in need to pay for it.’