Vicious Tory splits spill on to Twitter as row over party future deepens
The Tory leadership soap opera has spilled out into the public with MPs taking chunks out of each other on social media.
Outspoken Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns triggered a public blue-on-blue scrap after she savaged fellow Conservative MP Victoria Atkins over her supposed leadership ambitions, accusing the minister of "sneering" at her for taking her newborn son to an event.
Commenting on coverage of a debate on the future of Conservative Party, which Ms Atkins attended, she added: "Leadership contender Victoria Atkins! I wont vote for her; sneered when I took Clifford to an event after GE & think its acceptable for her staff to bad mouth me & Brexiteers in parliament email. She also said myself/ERG to blame for no Brexit!"
But the jibe prompted a stern reply from Eddisbury Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach who quickly pointed out that the Home Office minister had in fact ruled herself out from running.
She tweeted: "Andrea you tweeted the article saying you wouldn't vote for Victoria having not bothered to read the article in which she made it clear she was not standing. #getyourfactsright"
Tensions between Tory MPs about the direction of the party have bubbled over in recent weeks as Brexit splits threaten to rip the party apart.
But with just days until voters head to the polls to vote in the European elections, a bevy of fellow Tory MPs waded in to the public row.
Brexit-backing Telford MP Lucy Allan also attacked Ms Atkins' viability as a potential Prime Minister, saying he was "too entitled".
Meanwhile, party grandee Nicholas Soames slammed the pair for attacking the Tory minister, adding: "#absoluteBallsgetalife".
Andrea Jenkyns fired back at the pair, saying: "I see the Stop Brexit MPs like to stick together!"
But responding to a comment from Financial Times journalist Sebastian Payne about the spat, Ms Jenkyns claimed the party would still manage to come together to battle against Jeremy Corbyn should there be a general election.
"MPs in other parties do actually publicly criticise each other," she said.
"Party leaders come and go, but in the end we Conservstives come together, because we will fight tooth and nail to try to stop Corbyn getting into number 10 and bankrupting our great country."