DAVID Lammy has said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced his conversion to become pro-nuclear weapons.

The shadow foreign secretary claimed Vladimir Putin would not have invaded its neighbour if Ukraine had kept its weapons of mass destruction.

In an interview with the i newspaper, Lammy explained how he had come to support Trident, after voting against it in 2016.

He is charged with hypocrisy both by the Tories, who are pro-nuclear weapons and the pro-independence parties who are against them.

Lammy told the paper: “Had Ukraine been allowed to retain their nuclear weapons after its independence from the Soviet Union, they would not have faced the invasion that they did from Putin.”

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As shadow foreign secretary, Lammy is a member of the Privy Council which he said meant he had been given access “on bipartisan terms” which had demonstrated the “seriousness of the systemic risk that Vladimir Putin poses to our country”.

He added: “So, for all of those reasons, the nuclear deterrent is essential, and that’s why John Healey [Labour’s shadow defence secretary] has talked about the triple lock, which is about upgrading our submarines, absolutely 100% maintenance of trident and, of course, our long-term commitment to spending 2.5% of GDP on defence.”

Lammy has previously spoken of his admiration for Labour’s post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, one of the fathers of Nato and one of the key proponents for the creation of Britain’s nuclear weapons programme.

But deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has insisted she remains personally opposed to nuclear weapons, telling the BBC: “I haven’t changed my mind.”

She also voted against the renewal of Trident in 2016 and The Guardian reported that four years ago she wrote to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that she was committed to a “a world without nuclear weapons”.