A former British Navy chief has compared the government's alleged cover-up over a failed Trident missile test to the secretive actions of North Korea.

Admiral Lord West claimed it was "bizarre" for the authorities to keep the malfunction under wraps.

"From what the Government say there was a minor glitch with the missile and they are quite happy with the system still, in which case go ahead and let people know," West told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday (23 January)

"Otherwise we are a bit rather like the Soviet Union used to be, or like North Korea or China, where they won't admit to things going wrong."

West, who served as defence minister in Gordon Brown's Labour government, made the comments after The Sunday Times claimed an unarmed Trident II D5 missile went off course during a test firing in Florida in June.

The incident, under David Cameron's watch as prime minister, happened just weeks before a House of Commons vote on the renewal of the nuclear weapons system.

Theresa May, then Home Secretary, refused to say whether she knew about the malfunction ahead of the vote.

"I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles," she told BBC One's Andrew Marr show.

"When I made that speech in the House of Commons, what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident."

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is expected to face an urgent question in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon. But Angus Robertson, the SNP's Westminster leader, has called on May to personally explain to Parliament what had happened.

"It would be utterly unacceptable, and deeply serious, if it turns out that this information was deliberately kept from MPs at the time of the renewal vote for the Trident weapons of mass destruction programme," he said.

"Parliament and the public have a right to know if these reports are true, and there must be full disclosure about what happened, who knew, when they knew, and why the House of Commons wasn't informed. The prime minister cannot continue to dodge the question."