NORTH Durham MP Kevan Jones has resigned from his role as Shadow Defence Minister and has since accused the Labour leadship of dishonesty.

In a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, he said he was resigning due to differences in opinion over the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Mr Corbyn is in favour of scrapping Trident, but in his letter Mr Jones said: "I believe it is the right policy of the country to maintain a minimum credible nuclear deterrent while working to advance global nuclear disarmament."

The Northern Echo:

In an interview afterwards, Mr Jones claimed his former boss Maria Eagle, a supporter of Trident, had been moved from the defence brief against her will despite briefings that taking on the shadow culture secretary role was her "dream".

The former shadow defence spokesman said there had been "nothing straightforward or honest" about the way the reshuffle had been carried out and claimed Labour was being run in a "very top-down" manner.

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: "Jeremy was elected with the strapline 'straight talking, honest politics'. There has been nothing straightforward or honest about what's gone on over the last 48 hours.

"Maria, it's now being briefed that this was her dream job and she wanted to do it. That is not the case. She did not want to move. She made that point very clear.

"Both Maria and myself were appointed when Jeremy was elected. He knew our views on the nuclear deterrent."

Mr Jones said he "personally got on very well" with Mr Corbyn but believed "the people around him are advising him very badly".

"If you agree with the leader, that's fine, if you don't then there is no entering into discussions," he added.

Mr Jones' resignation came on the back of two further shadow cabinet resignations this morning.

Jonathan Reynolds said he was resigning as shadow rail minister because he could not "in good conscience endorse the world view of the Stop the War Coalition" - a group closely linked to Mr Corbyn.

Stephen Doughty quit live on television, telling the BBC's Daily Politics programme that he had "looked at his own conscience" and was stepping down as shadow foreign affairs minister after the leader's office told "lies" about the reasons why Europe spokesman Pat McFadden had been dismissed.

Speculation is growing that more frontbenchers could choose to leave in the wake of the shake-up, which also saw Michael Dugher ejected from the culture brief.

Maria Eagle has been moved from the key shadow defence secretary role and replaced by Emily Thornberry - known to share Mr Corbyn's views on scrapping Britain's nuclear deterrent.

However, Mr Corbyn stopped short of shifting Hilary Benn from shadow foreign secret

North West Durham MP Pat Glass became Labour's spokesperson for Europe, replacing Mr McFadden, who lost his job for apparent disloyalty to the embattled leader.

The County Durham MP is co-chair of pro-EU group Labour Yes.

Mr McFadden is thought to have been sacked for comments made in Parliament in the wake of the Paris massacre on December 13.

Mr McFadden said: "May I ask the Prime Minister to reject the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the West do?"

He added: "No one forces them to kill innocent people in Paris or Beirut.

"Unless we are clear about that, we will fail even to understand the threat we face, let alone confront it and ultimately overcome it."