Jeremy Corbyn's new shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry has admitted: "I don't know why Jeremy gave me this job".
Her promotion to the role was a significant move by the Labour leader as he attempts to assert his opposition to renewing Trident as party policy.
Ms Thornberry, who supports Mr Corbyn's life-long commitment to scrapping Britain's nuclear deterrent, replaced the pro-Trident Maria Eagle in the Labour reshuffle this week.
The move triggered a series of frontbench resignations, including shadow Armed Forces minister Kevan Jones, who said voters will "look on in dismay" at the decision.
Ms Thornberry has described Trident as the "ultimate weapons of mass destruction".
Asked whether she had been appointed Shadow Defence Secretary to smooth the way for Mr Corbyn to change party policy on Trident, which is currently in favour of renewal, she said: "I don't know why Jeremy gave me this job but I know that I'm really honoured to be doing it and hugely looking forward to meeting up with people and listening to what people have to say.
"I have always said that politicians must listen and learn and that is what I will be doing.
"But I do come from a position of huge respect for the military.
"As I say, I have family members who are in the military, my father was a peacekeeper he worked across the whole world.
"He was Irish but do you know what the forces he talked most favourably about were the British. And he said how disciplined we are, you know, the humanity of the British forces and how good we are at peacekeeping and how much he always enjoyed working with them.
In pictures: Jeremy Corbyn reshuffle
In pictures: Jeremy Corbyn reshuffle
1/11 Jonathan Reynolds,Shadow Railways Minister: RESIGNED
He resigned as shadow railways minister in protest at the reasons for sacking Pat McFadden
2/11 Kevan Jones, Shadow Defence Minister: RESIGNED
He resigned as a shadow defence minister who strongly supports renewal of Trident. Has spoken out against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership before and was also the centre of a row with Ken Livingstone after he said Jones “might need some psychiatric help” (Jones has previously spoken about his struggle with depression)
3/11 Stephen Doughty, Shadow Foreign Minister: RESIGNED
He quit as a shadow foreign minister in protest at the sacking of his colleague Pat McFadden as shadow Europe minister. He said he had “looked at his own conscience” and decided to step down
4/11 Pat McFadden, Shadow Europe Minister: SACKED
He was sacked as shadow Europe minister for "disloyalty" to leader Jeremy Corbyn
5/11 Pat Glass, Shadow Europe Minister: SAFE
Former junior shadow education minister Pat Glass replaced Pat McFadden as shadow Europe minister
6/11 Emily Thornberry, Shadow Defence Secretary: SAFE
She was promoted to shadow defence secretary. She is anti-Trident and therefore more in tune with Corbyn’s stance and replaces Maria Eagle, who was pro-Trident
7/11 Emma Lewell-Buck, Shadow Minister for Devolution and Local Government: SAFE
Emma Lewell-Buck was promoted to shadow minister for devolution and local government
8/11 Michael Dugher, Shadow Culture Secretary: SACKED
Outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has been sacked as shadow culture secretary for his "incompetence and disloyalty"
9/11 Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary: SAFE
Hilary Benn remains as shadow foreign secretary, but Corbyn’s team has insisted his role now comes with ‘new conditions’ that he must agree with Corbyn over foreign policy. Benn insists there are no ‘new conditions’ attached to his job and insisted: "I haven't been muzzled. I'm going to be carrying on doing my job exactly as before”
10/11 Maria Eagle, Shadow Culture Secretary: SAFE
Maria Eagle, moved from shadow defence to shadow culture secretary as part of Corbyn’s move to make his defence team match his anti-Trident views
11/11 Andy Burnham, Shadow Home Secretary: SAFE
Reports linked him to foreign secretary brief, but Corbyn appears to have backed down on sacking Hilary Benn. He does not see eye-to-eye with Corbyn on home affairs such as the Snooper’s charter, but removing your shadow home secretary so soon after starting would have been a dangerous move by Corbyn
"I'm going to really enjoy working with them too."
Ms Thornberry and Mr Corbyn are close and their north London constituencies border each other.
The outgoing Mr Jones said her promotion was evidence of Mr Corbyn turning the Shadow Cabinet into a "talking shop".
"Our defence policy is being controlled by a north London part of the party," he said after quitting the frontbench on Wednesday.Reuse content