Reaction mixed after Tory MP Nick Boles calls Labour backbencher Jess Phillips 'irresistible' in tweet

Nick Boles Credit: @NickBoles/Twitter and Victoria Jones/PA

A Conservative MP has divided opinion after saying he would "walk over hot coals," for an opposition backbencher.

Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles wrote in a tweet on Saturday morning he finds Labour's Jess Phillips "irresistible."

In the post, which shared a profile on the Birmingham Yardley MP, Boles said he believes "she would be a great prime minister."

His comments referenced Phillips' statement she believes she has the right qualities to be the leader of the UK.

The post has since received more than 1,000 replies, with reaction mixed. Some users called Boles "creepy" for the tweet - despite the Labour MP publicly liking it from her personal account.

Others suggested the pair may soon be colleagues as part of the newly-formed The Independent Group, pointing to speculation fuelled by Phillips in her newspaper profile.

She told The Times: "I feel like I can’t leave the Labour Party without rolling the dice one more time. I owe it that. But it doesn’t own me."

Members gather for a photograph shortly after the Independent Group’s inception. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Her comments spurred on others to urge her to leave. Warren Morgan, a former Labour councillor who is now a member of the group, responded: “Perhaps both of you should join @TheIndGroup and make that happen.”

But not all were against the tweet. One social media user replied: “This is so good to hear from a Tory MP. Beginning of the end of tribal politics, at last”, while another wrote: “That tweet cheers me up immensely. All strength to you both.”