A Sunday newspaper has reported that Conservative MP Patrick Mercer has unleashed an extraordinary attack on David Cameron, branding the prime minister "an arse".
The Newark MP is reported to have described his party leader as "the worst politician in British history since William Gladstone."
An article published in the Sunday People reports the former army officer as saying of Cameron: "He's a most despicable creature without any redeeming features. If I can think of one...he's very rich."
The quotes tweeted by the Sunday People's political columnist Nigel Nelson also report Mercer as saying he would "take a beggar off the streets rather than have Cameron" and "Cameron is an arse. I loathe him."
And asked by party guest where Cameron went wrong Mercer is said to have replied: "He was born."
But according to Conservative Home, Mercer strongly denies that he made the remarks, which are reported to have been recorded on an iPhone.
However on Sunday evening he was asked to confirm or deny whether he'd made the comments on BBC Radio 5 Live. The MP refused to say either way. His only comment to John Pienaar was that he wasn't going to discuss the matter.