FORMER Barrow MP John Woodcock has joined calls against the 'open threat' posed by a Labour-SNP coalition deal to the UK’s nuclear programme.

Mr Woodcock was one of 16 signatories of a letter - along with high-ranking security officials, MPs and academics - published in The Times on Wednesday that said that the forfeiting of the UK’s nuclear deterrent as part of any post-election deal would be “a betrayal of Britain’s national interest and a subversion of Parliament.”

The letter also said: “Anyone in the Labour Party contemplating surrendering to this threat should be reminded that only three years ago the UK Parliament voted to maintain the deployment of the Trident system.”

Labour has responded by saying the claims are “baseless” and “scaremongering.” Chris Altree, the party’s candidate for Barrow in December’s election has assured that shipyard contracts are safe for decades.