Some 15 people from the Knighton area joined a protest at which 45 campaigners were locked to railings outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 20.

They were highlighting the UK’s refusal to enter into multilateral talks to begin the process of eliminating nuclear weapons.

So far the UK has refused to be present at the many preparatory rounds of negotiations on the United Nations Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, supported by 122 countries with 58 signing the Treaty intending to ratify it later. Only 50 states need to ratify the Treaty for it to become law.

Knighton peace campaigner Angie Zelter said the Westminster action was “very successful” and had created much interest in having the British Government join and contribute to the multilateral talks at the UN and sign and ratify the Treaty.

“The UK could play a leading role. For too long the British government has claimed that it would support multi-lateral moves for a nuclear free world. Now is the ideal opportunity for this,” said Ms Zelter.

It addition to the campaigners from across the UK who chained themselves to the railings outside Parliament, another 40 to 50 supporters were nearby.

The activists from the campaign group Trident Ploughshares chained themselves along 13 sections of wrought iron fence stretching from Big Ben to Parliament Square and hung banners that proclaim “Denuclearize the World – Sign the Treaty” and “Trident Terrorises”.

Last year the United Nation adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Enough states have already signed it to bring it into force as soon as they have put it through their own legislation, which will take about two years.

This came about through civil society and non nuclear armed states working closely together to research, highlight and object to the humanitarian consequences of any nuclear weapon use.

Many states were frustrated at the lack of real progress from the nuclear armed states and so they pushed for a conference to write the treaty, which is now being signed and ratified.

The TPNW gives the majority of the world who believe we will all be more secure without nuclear weapons the power to ban them and it is believed it will strengthen the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) because the states in the NPT will be given a new legal obligation to eliminate, rather than just reduce their weapons.

The UK Government’s official policy is to support multi-lateral disarmament yet despite this, it has refused to engage with this Treaty and along with the US has put pressure on NATO countries not to take part.

Trident Ploughshares has been writing to the UK government, organising protests and engaging in non-violent direct action for the last 20 years.

It has always said that because nuclear weapons by their very nature would indiscriminately kill many, many civilians they are illegal.

This Treaty, it claims, confirms that position.

Trident Ploughshares, as part of the worldwide International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is calling for the UK to get in step with the rest of the world and sign the Treaty.

Ms Zelter added: “Since the end of the Cold War the world has largely forgotten about nuclear weapons.

But an exchange of just one hundred of the thousands of nuclear weapons deployed around the world right now would cause a nuclear famine and the deaths of two billion people.

“The situation is urgent. As long as the UK and other countries continue to rely on nuclear weapons to project power, countries like North Korea will want to have them too, increasing the risk that someday they will be used again.”