Christian naval officer sues Ministry of Defence claiming religious discrimination

HMS Vanguard is one of four Royal Navy submarines armed with the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system.(Photo: Ministry of Defence)

A Christian officer in the Royal Navy has claimed he was removed from a nuclear submarine after making his moral objections to the weapons known. 

Sub-Lieutenant Antonio Jardim says that he was barred from HMS Vanguard days after being assigned to the vessel when he told his superiors that he objected to nuclear weapons because of his Christian faith. 

He also claims to have lost his security clearance after his disclosure and says that other sailors on the submarine started nicknaming him 'Trigger'. 

The officer told a preliminary hearing in Southampton on Wednesday that after being taken off HMS Vanguard, he was instead stationed on land at Portsmouth. He resigned a year later.  

Jardim is now suing the Ministry of Defence, claiming religious discrimination. 

"After consideration of options and talking to my current (superior officer), I wanted to leave the service after the treatment I received when making my moral views known," he said, according to the Daily Mail. 

"I believe I have been subjected to a series of connected acts of discriminatory treatment based upon my religious beliefs.

"After a great deal of thought, and with much regret, I submitted a request for Voluntary Withdrawal From Training (VWFT) on March 18 2021."

A full hearing has been scheduled for 13 March 2023.

The Ministry of Defence disputes the claims.