Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Saturday, 13 March 2010

Protest says cut Trident not jobs

First Minister Alex Salmond joined the march against Trident
First Minister Alex Salmond joined the march against Trident

About 1,000 people have joined an anti-nuclear protest in Edinburgh calling for the scrapping of Trident.

Organisers of the Cut Trident Not Jobs march said money spent on the nuclear weapons system would be at the expense of public sector jobs and services.

The UK government plans to replace the Trident submarine-based nuclear missile system, which is based at Faslane on the Clyde, at a cost of about £20bn.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the costs were "indefensible and obscene".

The SNP leader said there was massive opposition to the proposals and predicted it would be a central issue in the forthcoming general election campaign.

Trident is due to expire go out of service by 2024.

Decisions on defence are reserved to Westminster, where MPs narrowly approved plans in 2007 to update and replace Trident.

The march against Trident began outside the Scottish Parliament and travelled along the Royal Mile towards the Grassmarket, where speeches were made.

Reverend Ian Galloway, CND chairman Kate Hudson and actor David Hayman, all took part in the protest.

Mr Galloway, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said: "I do this out of a firmly-held personal conviction that nuclear weapons are wrong as they kill indiscriminately, but also because the Church of Scotland has long spoken out against such weapons."

The first minister told the rally: "There is massive opposition to dumping a new generation of weapons of mass destruction in Scotland.

"The Scottish Parliament has voted against the 'son of Trident', a majority of Scottish MPs reject it, and it is going to be a central issue in the general election campaign."

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