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Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ announcement that the hands on the Doomsday Clock have moved 20 seconds closer to midnight.

They now stand at 100 seconds to midnight. This indicates a very high and increasing risk of nuclear warfare and environmental catastrophe. It is the closest the clock has been to midnight since the atomic scientists’ annual assessment began in 1947.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“These expert warnings show how real the twin existential threats of nuclear warfare and the climate crisis are. Urgent action must be taken to avert disaster.

“The time on the clock was actually decided before the recent US drone attack killing a key Iranian military leader. This has had a devastating impact on the Iran nuclear deal, making nuclear proliferation more likely. If the situation isn’t turned around, in 12 months’ time the clock could be even closer to midnight.

“So the first priority of Prime Minister Johnson must be to do all he can to save the Iran nuclear deal. We cannot allow this landmark pact – which has successfully reduced the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East – to be torn up by a belligerent US president.

“Boris Johnson must also spend time in 2020 to bolster the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty will be reviewed in just a few months, and the government must set out meaningful steps towards nuclear disarmament – starting with agreeing that a high level UK delegation actually attends the Review Conference.

“Replacing Britain’s own nuclear weapons system, at a cost of £205 billion, is contributing to the global drive to catastrophe. It’s time for the UK to change track and play a serious role in securing humanity’s survival.”