Bob Stewart claimed that the use of torture is sometimes justified
Tory MP Bob Stewart, a former colonel, warned that methods of “persuasion” should not be ruled out if a suspect had vital information such as the location of a nuclear bomb or major threat to the public.
He recommended that methods including sleep deprivation, denying food to terrorist suspects and showing pictures of their comrades who had been blown up were among the techniques which could be used to save innocent lives.
It came as Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs that the Government “does not condone it [torture], we don't agree with it under any circumstances whatsoever" after Donald Trump announced he would allow American security agencies to use it.
The US President is understood to be preparing to order a review of interrogation methods and the possible reopening of "black site" prisons outside the US.
Theresa May is under pressure to challenge Mr Trump over torture from Jeremy Corbyn, who in the past has shared a platform with Islamic terrorist groups,
As the Prime Minister jetted over to the US to be the first world leader to hold a summit with Mr Trump since he became President, the far Left Labour said she "must stand up for our country's values".
But Mr Stewart said: "No one likes torture. Not even Trump likes torture. But the fact of the matter is sometimes it might work, and sometimes it might be justified.
The fact of the matter is sometimes it might work
Bob Stewart, Tory MP
"I don't agree with waterboarding but a certain amount of persuasion might be justified if someone for example had the knowledge about where a nuclear weapon that was going to explode in London was," he added.
"That is where I suggest that people might say a certain amount of persuasion could be justified. I'm qualifying it all the way through.
"In circumstances where a great number of people, or indeed one person, is going to be killed, you have to think very carefully about what pressure you can put on people in order to give that information to stop people’s lives being lost."
Brexit Secretary David Davis has made it clear that the UK government does not condone torture
Asked about the types of torture techniques that might be suitable in those situations, he replied: "Sleep deprivation. Lack of food.
"Perhaps, as I've done, showing people pictures of their friends that have been blown up. That sort of thing."
He also admitted he had been "kind of a torturer" when he was posted to Northern Ireland during The Troubles.
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Mr Stewart completed seven operational tours of Northern Ireland during The Troubles.
He told the programme: "Technically as you look at it today I was a kind of a torturer.
"Of course it was acceptable then. It's now unacceptable and now it's defined as torture."
Mr Stewart's comments come after Donald Trump said he would allow US agencies to use torture
Mr Trump’s announcement has led to anguish from human rights groups including Amnesty International which has been criticised for siding with threats to British security including the extremist Muslim cleric Abu Qatada.
Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: "Mrs May mustn't flinch from telling the President some basic truths about the complete unacceptability of keeping Guantanamo open or of authorising a return to the use of waterboarding and other torture."