In his column of January 24, John Woodcock MP misleadingly claimed that the Dreadnought programme will be at risk under Labour because the Prime Minister has “unparalleled personal control over the deployment” of the nuclear deterrent.

This is simply not true.

The Prime Minister has control over whether to fire the weapons. The policy of “continuous at-sea deterrence” (CASD) goes on independently of any decision to fire. That is what determines how the submarines are deployed.

Jeremy Corbyn is committed to CASD. Supporting it is Labour policy.

As for the weapons, they are deployed according to a policy set out before parliament – the Strategic Defence and Security Review – which in 2015 reduced the number of missiles and warheads per boat.

For both the weapons and the submarines it is parliament that sets out the overall deployment policy and the Royal Navy that implements it. Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said nuclear deployment decisions would be government decisions, not personal ones.

So the idea that Corbyn would scrap the Dreadnoughts because he has a strong inclination against firing the weapons is a self-serving lie.

Let’s be very clear:

*Labour is irrevocably committed to building all four Dreadnought submarines

*It would restore the £10bn cut by the Tories from defence

*It would boost Britain’s defence industries with a new industrial strategy

*And the skills and infrastructure needed to regenerate industry across Cumbria and the North West would be generated by investing £250m into the UK’s economy.

Sadly, Mr Woodcock’s decision to isolate himself in parliament is now starting to impact on this town. Who will local industries consult if they need matters raising in parliament? To fight our corner we need an MP with influence, not one who is sacrificing his influence with inflammatory gestures against his colleagues.

As the Brexit shambles continues, there will be more votes of confidence. Every one of them brings closer the day when Woodcock’s non-job in parliament ends.

That’s why he’s slandering Labour again: this is not about Jeremy, it’s all about John.

Kate Love, shortlisted for prospective parliamentary candidate for Barrow and Furness Labour Party