May was told nuclear submarine successfully certified in tests – spokeswoman

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on leaving the European Union at Lancaster House in London, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool

British Prime Minister Theresa May was told on taking office last year that a nuclear submarine and its crew had been successfully certified in tests, her spokeswoman said on Monday.

The Sunday Times reported a test firing of an unarmed British nuclear Trident missile from a submarine malfunctioned last June, shortly before May asked parliament to spend 40 billion pounds on new Trident submarines.

During a BBC interview on Sunday, May repeatedly declined to answer directly whether she had known about the misfire before the vote in parliament.

“On taking office, the current prime minister was briefed on a range of nuclear issues, including this,” the spokeswoman told reporters referring to the outcome of the certification tests.

Asked whether a misfire had happened, the spokeswoman declined to discuss operational details of tests but said the capability and effectiveness of Trident missiles was not in question.

(Reporting by William James, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)