THE UK Government must “urgently” make a statement to parliament on whether Scots living near its nuclear bases remain safe after alarm bells were rung over “rotting” infrastructure, the SNP have said.

It comes after Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, claimed there was a top-level cover-up of the poor state of the UK’s nuclear provision.

Cummings said that in 2022 Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had approached him for help with the next General Election campaign, and he had asked for several conditions in return.

One of these, he said, was addressing the “fundamentally critical” issue of “the scandal of nuclear weapons infrastructure which is a dangerous disaster and a budget nightmare of hard-to-believe and highly classified proportions, and which has forced large secret cannibalisation of other national security budgets”.

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Writing on social media, Cummings (above) added that it was a “fact that our nuclear weapons infrastructure is dangerously rotting and is tens of billions secretly in the hole, with huge knock-on effects beyond its destructive effects on MoD [Ministry of Defence] which has got *even worse*".

HM Naval Base, Clyde, at Faslane on the west coast of Scotland is home to the UK’s nuclear submarines.

The nearby Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport is responsible for storing, processing, maintaining and issuing key elements of the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system.

ITV political journalist Robert Peston shared some quotes from Cummings, commenting: "After the former most powerful government official has asserted that the UK’s nuclear weapons and defence capability is dangerously fragile, the government will surely have to make a statement to parliament."

Asked about the allegations, the SNP also called for the Tories government to urgently make a statement on the issue.

MSP Bill Kidd said: “The claim that the Trident infrastructure is dangerous will be extremely concerning to people across Scotland – the UK Government must urgently make a statement on this matter and confirm that people living in the surrounding areas remain safe.

“The SNP is crystal clear that on achieving independence nuclear weapons must be removed as quickly and safely as possible from Scotland.”

Chris McEleny, the general secretary of the Alba Party and a former MoD employee, also raised serious concerns about the safety of nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

“I am bound by the Official Secrets Act, but let’s be clear, Trident is maintained by facilities that are so old they are riddled with asbestos and buildings that if they were out in the real world would have statutory demolition orders slapped on them,” he said.

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“The Trident weapons system is now over three decades old. It has been extended well past its lifespan. The older the system gets the more we will see accidents that could lead to a catastrophic event on the Firth of Clyde. And we already know that the MoD will cover up radioactive incidents at Faslane and Coulport.”

Marjorie Ellis Thompson, the former chair of the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), now sits on the Alba national executive committee. She said it would be “absolutely possible” to have nuclear weapons removed from Scotland “by day one of independence if we make that a priority”.

Lynn Jamieson, the serving chair of the Scottish CND, told The National that Cummings was “right about the chaotic state of the UK’s entire nuclear weapon system”.

The National: A Trident submarine makes its way out from Faslane Naval base in Faslane

She went on: “The four old Trident boats are decrepit and a menace to their crews, to say nothing of chance of a nuclear accident. The Royal Navy has difficulty keeping one always on patrol, so has begun to extend the patrol times by months, with huge impact on crew welfare. No surprise then that recruiting new submariners is no easy task.

“Their replacement by Dreadnought boats was always going to be a colossal waste of resources and their advent is subject to delay after delay and ever escalating cost.”

The Scottish Greens also sounded the alarm, with MSP Ross Greer stating: "There have been numerous safety concerns raised about Britain's Trident arsenal over the years, from dangerously poor maintenance to the transportation of nuclear material via convoys which regularly pass through Scotland's towns and cities.

"Replacing Trident will inevitably cost hundreds of billions of pounds, money which would be far better used to lift people out of poverty and tackle the biggest security threat we face, the climate emergency.

"Our focus must remain on eliminating nuclear weapons altogether. Scottish independence wouldn't just remove them from our shores, it would force a rethink of the UK's nuclear strategy."

The UK Government was approached for comment.