Former frontbencher Dan Jarvis has hinted he may not represent Labour at the 2020 election if the party abandons support for the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent system.
The former paratrooper who served two tours of Afghanistan before becoming an MP said in an interview with The Guardian that he would feel “deeply uncomfortable” standing on a manifesto committed to unilateral nuclear disarmament.
He added: "To my core I have always been Labour and always will be, but I would feel deeply uncomfortable fighting as a Labour candidate on a manifesto that committed us to getting rid of our nuclear deterrent, not least because we would lose the election.
"It's an issue of such strategic importance with the public that it would be catastrophic for us to go into an election with that as our policy."
Mr Jarvis, who is tipped by some as a future Labour leader, also suggested that his decision not to compete in the leadership contest last summer had been a mistake. “I’m not a great one for regretting anything,” he said. “But what I do regret is that I didn’t give it more thought beforehand.”
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
Speaking shortly after Labour’s disastrous general election result in May 2015 he insisted that he wanted to put his children before his immediate political career. He added: “My eldest kids had a very tough time when they lost their mum and I don’t want them to lose their dad. I need some space for them, my wife and our youngest child right now, and I wouldn’t have it as leader.”
His intervention comes after a tumultuous week for Labour in which Mr Corbyn replaced pro-Trident Maria Eagle from shadow defence secretary with Emily Thornberry, who supports his call for Britain to disarm unilaterally. The final decision on Labour’s position on Trident is likely to be decided at the next party conference.