THE Defence Secretary has denied any member of the Government was involved in a humiliating episode which saw a Trident missile misfire and crash into the ocean.

Grant Shapps – said to have been present when the nuclear weapon misfired – denied an “insane rumour” he had been involved in its launch.

The Ministry of Defence previously confirmed an “anomaly occurred” off the Florida coast on January 30.

The Sun revealed the story in February and said the unarmed missile’s boosters did not ignite and it fell into the ocean and sank.

A source said: “It left the submarine but it just went plop, right next to them.”

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Speaking at the Defence Committee in Westminster on Tuesday, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes questioned Shapps about the story – asking him to rule out rumours he had been involved in launching the missile.

It is understood the rumour purported that Shapps had pushed the launch button – something he categorically denied.

Docherty-Hughes said: “There is a rather insane rumour going round at the moment that we’ve been hearing about today that with the unarmed missile misfire earlier, I think was it last month, that a member of the Cabinet may actually have been involved in the firing of that missile.”

Shapps replied: “I can absolutely… although we don’t discuss national security issues I can absolutely guarantee, assure you that is completely untrue.”

Laughing, the Defence Secretary added: “It’s not one I’ve heard, I should say.”

The story further intensified questions for the MoD about the state of the nuclear fleet, which former Government advisor Dominic Cummings previously described as being a "dangerous disaster”.

It also comes after pictures showed rusty Trident submarines returning to the Clyde – sparking further questions about the safety of the nuclear arsenal for the public and crew.