Backbenchers embrace blue on blue

Backbenchers embrace blue on blue
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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It's been a pretty bad-tempered leadership race thus far but at least most of the scrapping has been done by high profile 'outriders' of the two main candidates. Now though it seems that this penchant for 'blue-on-blue' attacks has spread to the backbenches too as Tory MPs take to Twitter to attack each other's campaigns.

First up this morning was Michael 'Fabbers' Fabricant launching one of his by-now routine attacks on Rishi Sunak, suggesting that everything about his campaign is 'stage managed, preplanned, and never authentic.' It prompted Simon Hoare, the standbearer of the Tory left, to fire off a terse response that seemingly poked fun at Fabricant's infamous blonde hair: 'Keep your hair on and your hypocrisy to yourself.'

Fabbers and Hoare are well known Twitter-troublemakers but it seems others are now following in their footsteps. For this afternoon Jake Berry, a Truss backer self-styled 'king of the north', attacked Rishi Sunak's leaked comments about regional funding, saying Sunak 'says one thing and does another – from putting up taxes to trying to block funding for our armed forces and now levelling up.'

It prompted fellow Northern Research Group member and Sunak supporter Jacob Young to fire back 'this is total bollocks and you know it. He said he's changed Labour's failed formulas' adding that he didn't join the NRG 'to campaign for Labour's failed funding formulas which didn't deliver investment in communities like ours.'

As one special adviser tells Mr S: 'The next Chief Whip should ban them all from Twitter – for all our good.'