NATO’S secretary general has said the UK’s nuclear weapons are “important” in response to the Scottish Government’s desire to scrap the “deterrent”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would never use nuclear weapons and has called for the “immoral” and “ineffective” Trident nuclear system –based on the Clyde – to be scrapped.

Asked on The Andrew Marr Show whether Britain would still be a valued member of Nato without nuclear weapons, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Britain is a highly valued member of Nato for many reasons.

READ MORE: Charity says tourist tax could boost transport investment

“You spend more than 2% on defence, you provide a lot of valuable, high-end capabilities and you have shown again and again you are willing to deploy when needed.

“Part of the UK contribution to Nato is of course the UK nuclear weapons – the nuclear deterrent – which contributes to the overall nuclear deterrent of Nato, which is something that is important for Nato.”

The former Norwegian prime minister added: “Nato’s goal is a world without nuclear weapons but we have to arrive there through viable, balanced nuclear arms control and disarmament.

“The world will not be safer if Nato got rid of all its nuclear weapons while countries like Russia, China, North Korea and other countries maintain their nuclear weapons.”

Asked during the General Election campaign about her stance on the issue, Sturgeon said: “I think nuclear weapons are immoral, I think they’re ineffective and I think they’re a waste of money.

“I would not countenance their use and I look forward to the day where not just Scotland is free of nuclear weapons, but the world is free of nuclear weapons.”