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Britain and US give conflicting accounts in Trident missile row


UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: PA

UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: PA

UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: PA

Britain and America last night gave contrasting accounts of a Trident missile failure following 24 hours of chaos over the incident which has seen Prime Minister Theresa May accused of a "cover-up".

There were calls for an inquiry on Sunday after a newspaper reported there had been a "serious malfunction" during an unarmed Trident test in June last year and that the missile may have "veered off in the wrong direction towards America". In a statement the British government said the Trident nuclear submarine had been "successfully tested and certified, allowing Vengeance to return into service".

On Sunday morning Mrs May appeared on the BBC's 'Andrew Marr Show' and refused four times to say that she knew about the Trident misfire off the coast of Florida in the weeks before she forced a Commons vote calling for the renewal of the nuclear deterrent.

Yesterday, Mrs May's official spokeswoman admitted the prime minister was informed about the test before she addressed MPs on the £40bn nuclear deterrent's renewal last summer.

But US broadcaster CNN reported that an unnamed US defence official confirmed the unarmed Trident II D5 missile veered off course after being launched from a Royal Navy submarine off the coast of Florida.