A Birmingham hustings event was attended by the foreign secretary, who stated that she is not afraid of using nuclear weapons if she is elected prime minister.
Truss said she was “ready” to hit the nuclear button if needed and that it was an “important part of being prime minister”, even though it would mean “global annihilation”.
John Pienaar introduced the topic, and then asked the candidates questions about the most significant and life-altering decisions they could make, including about the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
Pienaar said: “One of the first things that will happen when and if you become Prime Minister, you’ll be ushered into a room, a very private room at Number 10, and there will be laid out in front of you what are called the letters of last resort.”
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“Your orders to our Trident boat captain on whether you, Prime Minister Liz Truss, is giving the order to unleash nuclear weapons.”
“It would mean global annihilation. I won’t ask you if you would press the button, you’ll say yes, but faced with that task I would feel physically sick.”
He asked: “How does that thought make you feel?”
Truss responded: “I think it’s an important duty of the prime minister and I’m ready to do that.”
She reiterated again: “I’m ready to do that.”
The UK’s nuclear defence programme created by the Ministry of Defence is called Trident. It’s a submarine-launched missile system, created as a ‘last resort’ which could “deter the most extreme threats to our national security and way of life, which cannot be done by other means”.
The debate about nuclear weapons continues. Radioactive dust is spread around the globe by the detonation, causing deadly levels of radiation. A ‘nuclear winter’ happens, (the result of smoke and soot from the intensive heat of the explosion blocking the sun) where temperatures globally drop 20-30 degrees Celsius, causing deaths and famine across the globe.
Liz Truss made reference to the possibility of nuclear weapons being used earlier in the year. In February, Liz Truss said in interview: “If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat – the Baltics, Poland, Moldova, and it could end up in a conflict with Nato,”
“We do not want to go there. That is why it is so important we make the sacrifices now.”
As a result of this comment, Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.