Former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Michael Dugher has criticised the Labour leadership for wasting time on a "self-indulgent" debate on the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent.
In his first speech since being controversially sacked from Jeremy Corbyn's front bench in a reshuffle, Mr Dugher said Labour should be taking the political fight to the Conservatives, "not picking another fight with ourselves".
The MP for Barnsley East, who said he was removed from the shadow cabinet "for too much straight talking, honest politics," used an address at the Labour First annual meeting to call for an end to "infighting".
He urged the party to concentrate on battling the Conservative government which he called "the most rotten, callous, incompetent Conservative government that we have ever seen”.
Mr Dughar also looked ahead to the local elections in May which he said "will tell us if Labour is heading in the right direction."
He said: "We will be able to see what the answer is to that big question: after last year’s devastating defeat in the general election, are we getting back in touch with the country or are we moving even further away from the public?”