A portrait photo of Kate Hudson
Dr Kate Hudson
CND General Secretary
Kate Hudson has been General Secretary of CND since September 2010. Prior to this she served as the organisation's Chair from 2003. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally.

Our second guest election blog comes from CND Officer Annie Tunnicliffe, on making nuclear weapons at Lakenheath an election issue.

As we head into this General Election, delivery of US nuclear weapons to Britain is looming. We need the next government to come clean about what’s going on – and put a stop to it. So it’s time to put the question to all the parliamentary candidates: will they oppose these weapons coming back to Britain?

When it comes to nukes at Lakenheath, successive British governments have a track record of secrecy and obfuscation. In 1956, a B-47 bomber on a routine training mission from Lakenheath crashed into a storage facility containing nuclear weapons, killing four servicemen. Official US documents said it was a “miracle” that none of the bombs detonated and it was “possible part of Eastern England would have become a desert”. And when did the British people find out about it? Twenty three years later, in 1979.

Five years after that incident, in 1961, a plane loaded with a nuclear bomb caught fire following a pilot error – the bomb was “scorched and blistered” and scientists later discovered it could have detonated in slightly different circumstances. And when did the British people find out about it? Forty two years later, in 2003.

In 2008, after persistent popular protest, 110 nuclear bombs stored at Lakenheath were removed.

Now the evidence shows they are on their way back. The US Department of Defense has added the UK to a list of NATO nuclear weapons storage locations in Europe and new documents on the US Department of Defense’s procurement database reveal plans for a “nuclear mission” at RAF Lakenheath with the Pentagon ordering new equipment for the base.

The use of the term “RAF” is another obfuscation, another euphemism to cover up the facts and try to keep the British people in the dark. Despite being called an RAF base, Lakenheath is run by the USAF and only hosts US personnel, around 6,000 of them. It is the largest deployment of USAF personnel in the UK.

US nuclear weapons based here would make the UK once again a forward nuclear base for the US, thereby making us a prime target in the event of a nuclear war.

Contact your candidates and ask if they oppose these bombs coming back to Britain. And join the peace camp at Lakenheath from 13th to 25th July – find out more here.