Jade Thirlwall insists she and her Little Mix bandmates will never be pulled apart by feuds.

The singer tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper the group's gruelling work schedules can be tough but she's adamant the women's closeness is the key to the band's longevity.

"We said from the get-go we'd remain equal, even when other people might tell us otherwise. That's one of the reasons we've lasted," Jade explains.

"We've always been about lifting each other up - I think that translates. People aren't stupid, they can tell when you're on stage if you aren't getting along. Maybe that's why people have warmed to us for nearly 10 years. We're family now."

Her comments follow Jesy Nelson's announcement last week that she is taking an extending break from Little Mix, leaving the band as a temporary three piece comprising of Jade, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards.

The singer pulled out of the final episode of the girl group's TV talent show, Little Mix: The Search, earlier this month due to a mystery illness, while she was also absent from the MTV Europe Music Awards the next day.

A spokesperson has since confirmed the star will be sitting out band activities until further notice, sharing in a statement: "Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons."

Rumours have begun swirling that the singers are now lining up solo projects.