Three Conservative MPs in Red Wall seats have sent Sir Keir Starmer a graphic message after rumours of defections circulated in Westminster.
Labour sources told The Telegraph that three male Conservatives, first elected in 2019, have entered formal discussions about crossing the floor to join the opposition benches.
Following a humbling defeat in Wakefield, they were reportedly worried about losing their seat if they did not defect.
One source who has spoken to the MPs said they were frustrated with the “ideological direction” of the Conservative Party and that the recent no-confidence vote had pushed them towards their decision.
But hours after the rumours first came to light, Brendan Clarke-Smith, the MP for Bassetlaw who turned the seat red in 2019, posted a picture on social media with colleagues apparently rubbishing the claim.
Posing with pictures of beer and curry, Clarke-Smith said: “When somebody asked us to join the party we thought it was one with curry and beer.
“Apologies UK Labour for the misunderstanding and we won’t be defecting afraid.”
Earlier today Dehenna Davison, the MP for the red wall seat of Bishop Auckland, tweeted: “For the avoidance of doubt – again – I’m not bloody defecting.
“To those anonymous colleagues spreading such rumours, my door is always open for a chat.”
Caroline Nokes, the former minister and current chair of the women and equalities committee, added: “Me neither – just to pop that on the record.”