Conservatives admit sending email critical of own MPs 'in error'

The Conservatives have admitted mistakenly sending out an email which reportedly accused MPs and ministers of failing to "get behind" the party's election campaign.

Staff at Tory headquarters accused some MPs of focusing too much on ministerial business and said some were refusing to knock on doors or were away on holiday, The Times reported.

The document was accidentally emailed to MPs by a senior figure in the campaign, the newspaper said.

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Responding, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: "The email was sent in error and immediately recalled. Those who received it have been contacted with an apology".

Party sources said not all of the information in the memo related to general election campaigning, as parts of the document detailed past concerns.

Rishi Sunak has experienced several setbacks in the first few days of the campaign, including getting drenched in Downing Street while announcing the election and asking voters in Wales whether they were looking forward to the Euro football tournament when their country's team had not qualified.

Some of the concerns detailed by the Times include a reference to the Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer, where an issue with "MP cooperation" was noted.

Sarah Atherton, the MP for Wrexham, was accused of "refusing to engage" with a note saying she "wants to cancel this week's campaigning sessions".

Sky News has contacted both MPs for comment.

A Liberal Democrat source said: "This embarrassing leaked memo shows even Conservative MPs are refusing to get behind Rishi Sunak's botched campaign".