North Ayrshire MP Patricia Gibson has questioned the value of Trident after UK Government debt rose to record levels for the first time since 1961.

UK Government debt has now risen above 100 per cent of GDP, with the Office for National Statistics revealing that net debt reached £2.6 trillion at the end of May.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the SNP MP questioned the cost of replacing Trident nuclear submarines given the pressure on public finances following the new figures.

She said: “In that context, the cost of replacing Trident could rise to between £287 million and £639 million.

“Given the huge pressure on public finances, will the Leader of the House make a statement setting out whether she believes a blank cheque for replacing Trident is either acceptable or sustainable?”

Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt hit back at the SNP MP, claiming the submarines were vital in the modern world.  

She said: “I do not think this Government should take any lessons from the SNP Government, who have nearly £2 billion between what they spend and what is in their budget.

“In addition to understanding the cost and price of everything, it is also important for us, in this place, to understand the value of things.

“Trident is a nuclear deterrent. There is no blank cheque for that nuclear deterrent, but it is there doing a vital job.

“If honourable members cannot see the merits of us having a deterrent at this moment, I do not know that they will ever be able to grasp that.”