Andrew Bridgen has denied he was the Tory MP who said Theresa May would soon get a knife “stuck in her front”.
The longtime critic of the prime minister was asked on Tuesday morning if he had given the quote to The Sunday Times.
“It’s not me, I have no idea who it was I don’t normally hide behind anonymous quotes,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
“I think those sort of comments are unproductive and bad politics.”
The use of violent language threatening May’s position by several anonymous MPs in the Sunday papers caused an outcry at the start of the week.
One MP told The Sunday Times: “The moment is coming when the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted. She’ll be dead soon.”
Other MPs said “assassination is in the air” and warned May was entering a “killing zone”.
A Tory told the Mail on Sunday the prime minister should “bring her own noose” if she attended Wednesday’s meeting of the backbench 1922 committee - which they called a “show trial”.
Bridgen has been an vocal critic of May’s Brexit strategy and submitted a letter of no confidence to 1922 committee chair Graham Brady in July.
If 48 letters are submitted to Brady, a no confidence vote is triggered, which if May loses she will be forced out of office.
Defending his actions this morning, Bridgen saying it wasn’t his intention to trigger a no confidence vote right away.
He said: “I did it publicly to put pressure on the Prime Minister to move her political position.”
Speaking to BBC Newsnight on Monday evening former home secretary Amber Rudd said triggering a no confidence vote would be “a huge mistake” and “a total indulgence”.
Rudd also sidestepped a question about if she wanted to run for leader, saying “I’ve got no interest in any sort of leadership talk, given that what we need is to back the Prime Minister.”