Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to the news that Number 10 covered up a failed Trident missile test in 2016.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“This is a very serious failure of the Trident system and there’s absolutely no doubt that this would have impacted on the debate in Parliament on Trident replacement. So the government’s motivation for holding back this vital information is clear.

“Instead this crucial information has been revealed by a senior naval figure rather than by government at the appropriate time to inform the parliamentary debate. This is shocking behaviour on the part of our government and it is profoundly to be hoped that parliamentary opposition forces will hold government to account for withholding information that is crucial to our national security.

“There is a wider point too: nuclear weapons technology is not 100% failsafe. In so many ways it is an disaster waiting to happen, the consequences of which are too terrible to comprehend.

“So the question now is, why has the government knowingly committed us to spending £205 billion on this demonstrably unreliable technology?”