Tory MP Johnny Mercer claims party whips are asking old Army colleagues to dig up 'dirt' on him
Tory MP Johnny Mercer has claimed that Conservative whips have been trying to get his former Army colleagues to provide them with damaging information about him.
The Conservative MP - seen as a rising star in the party ranks - shared a message from a former military comrade on Twitter who alleged that party enforcers had tried tap "tap me up for dirt on you".
The Plymouth Moor View MP said it was the third attempt to extract damaging information that he had been notified of in recent months.
The message from an "old Army contact" said: "Btw, the Whips office was trying to tap me up for dirt on you. Obviously. I have none anyway, but I told him to f*** off regardless. I guess maybe watch your back a little bit."
Mr Mercer, who has repeatedly backed the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans but urged a change in the party’s leadership and last year branded the Government a "shit show", said the plot revealed why the UK was in "such a mess".
“Third one of these I’ve had of late, from an only army contact," he wrote on Twitter.
"Contrast the values and ethos of that institution vs Parliament, and you’ll start to find answers of how we got the UK politically into such a mess. Values, integrity, ethos – never been more important, or more scarce."
The incident comes after the Conservative MP called for an overhaul of Tory rules to allow its wider membership to have a choice of four leadership candidates, instead of the current limit of two.
Writing for the Conservative Home website, he said: "With two candidates the whole contest will be about Brexit.
“Far too many of our members have become frustrated with this all-pervasive process, and will remain desperately uninspired.
“Instead there is a huge opportunity coming shortly to have a genuine and engaging public discussion of what modern Conservatism looks like beyond Brexit."
The Conservative party has been approached for comment.