RISHI Sunak and the UK Government must abandon plans to spend billions of pounds more on "abhorrent" weapons of mass destruction, the SNP have said.

The Prime Minister will visit the US next week to announce £5 billion of extra cash for defence over the next two years.

The Times has reported a hefty portion of the money will be set aside for the Dreadnought programme that will replace Britain’s ageing submarine fleet which is armed with nuclear weapons.

The SNP defence spokesperson Dave Doogan (below) has accused the Tories of neglecting the UK’s conventional forces amid sweeping cuts to infantry numbers and a host of base closures in recent years.

The National: SNP candidate for Abroath Dave Doogan, as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets voters and activists in Abroath. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA

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He has called on the UK Government to divert funding to ensure the UK’s capabilities were responsibly strengthened.

Doogan said: “The people of Scotland will not be impressed with colossal extra funding for weapons of mass destruction while communities face such material hardship during the Tories’ cost of living crisis.

"For struggling families up and down the country there are far greater priorities than funding nuclear armed submarines.

“We are all aware of the need to consolidate defence and security services in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, but funnelling billions more into abhorrent nuclear weapons is not the priority and will not assist Ukraine in their fight for freedom.

“Over 13 years the Tory government has decimated the UK’s conventional forces and capabilities while closing or downgrading bases across Scotland and elsewhere. Infantry numbers in particular are at their lowest point since the war of the Spanish Succession more than 300 years ago.

The National:

“If the Government is serious about improving the UK’s defence capabilities they’ll abandon these plans, and divert money to ensure our conventional forces can better confront the threats we face collectively with our allies."

The Dreadnought programme was launched in 2015. It was predicted to cost £31bn at the time and enter service in the 2030s.

The Ministry of Defence has said £12.5bn of this budget had so far been spent on the programme.

However there is reportedly widespread acknowledgement the project wil need more money spent on it.

A Whitehall source told The Times: “This is an extraordinarily complex and critical project and there is an acknowledgment that the existing budget will not be enough to deliver it, given the inflationary pressures we’re seeing."