EU referendum: Influential Conservative MP Graham Brady says Tory infighting could "imperil" the party's future

James Nickerson
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Brady said the Conservative party has a broad spectrum of opinion (Source: Getty)

Tories fighting "like rats in a sack" could end up putting the Conservative's future at risk, an influential backbench MP has warned.

Chair of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady has said that "blue on blue abuse" is damaging to the interests of the Conservative party.

Writing in the Telegraph, Brady said: "Public in-fighting is hugely damaging to the interests of the Conservative Party and therefore – while the party is in office – to the government of our country.

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"Those who have stepped into the ring to attack their colleagues surely cannot imagine that it will make it easier to heal the wounds when the referendum is over. It is so much easier to overlook disagreements over policy than it is to disregard attacks on one’s character or integrity."

Brady was writing as tension within the Conservative party has been rising, with Tories including John Major and Amber Rudd both having been critical of Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith talking down the Remain campaign and Treasury.

Earlier this week former chancellor Ken Clarke told City A.M. that the "incautious" behaviour of a select number of MPs mean that it could take some time for the party to unite after the referendum.

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"Most importantly, all Conservatives who are engaged in this debate in the remaining days should strain every sinew to rediscover a habit of courtesy and respect," Brady continued.

He added that the winning side should be magnanimous in victory and the losing side dignified in defeat.

Brady wrote ahead of the referendum, which will be held a week today.

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