Leaked WhatsApp messages have revealed a rift in the Conservative party following Suella Braverman’s homelessness policy.

The messages were first obtained by LBC and showed a discussion between several local MPs, including Ipswich’s Tom Hunt.

Also included were East Devon’s Simon Jupp, Devizes’ Danny Kruger,  Ashfield’s Lee Anderson, Hartlepool’s Jill Mortimer and Gloucester’s Richard Graham.

The discussion started after Mr Graham shared his tweet addressing the Home Secretary’s decision to push for restrictions on the use of tents by rough sleepers in England and Wales.

Mr Graham criticised Braverman’s inflammatory language on tents and marches, adding it was ‘unhelpful to cohesion’ and ‘did not reflect’ how issues are tackled in Gloucester.

Mr Hunt went on to say: “If you have concerns about the Home Secretary, Richard, I’m sure there are private ways of feeding your concerns in.

“It’s incredibly unhelpful for you to start taking public pot shots.

“I may have concerns about a number of ministers but I don’t take to Twitter [now X] and start slagging them off.”

Ms Mortimer added it was ‘akin to washing dirty linen’.

Mr Anderson added to Mr Hunt’s comments: “Quite right Tom. I thought we were supposed to criticise the opposition, not one of our own.

“Maybe I got politics all wrong.”

Following these comments, Mr Graham said he would ‘zip his mouth’ for ‘general relief’, but added his comments weren’t ‘comfortable’ and there was ‘nothing personal’.

Ms Mortimer continued: “It would have been a greater relief if you’d never unzipped but your gracious climb down is accepted.”

Mr Gullis added: “Well done on the self-promotion, I’m sure all the likes on Twitter [now X] will make you feel better.”

Mr Jupp said: “This discussion is hardly a shining example of party unity, either. We are better than this.”

Commenting on these messages, Ipswich’s Labour candidate, Jack Abbott, said: “It’s rare I agree with Tom Hunt, but on this occasion I do – I also have concerns about a number of Conservative Ministers.

“However, in what will come as little surprise to people in Ipswich, the town’s current MP doesn’t believe it’s his duty to calm, not inflame, tensions.”

Mr Hunt and those involved were approached for comment by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.