Tory MP Damian Hinds Instagram story leaks 'GE2019' email as minister denies early general election plans

The former education secretary has mistakenly leaked a screenshot of an email chain titled "GE2019 team thoughts" to his Instagram page, just hours after a senior minister denied plans for an early general election.

Damian Hinds' Instagram story - which has since been deleted - displayed an image showing the former minister had been corresponding with others including local Tory volunteer Debbie Curnow-Ford.

The email's subject line "GE2019" - a common abbreviation for general election 2019 - will fuel speculation that the government is planning for an early poll.

Mr Hinds told ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand the post was the result of a "a little techno snafu" and insisted there's "nothing to see here".

It came after Cabinet minister Amber Rudd claimed she was "certainly not planning" for a general election, despite speculation that the government is.

The work and pensions secretary said: "We have an obligation as a government and every member of Parliament has to try to get on and govern.

"We only had a general election in 2017, I think we should be getting on with what they expect us to do, which is improving the quality of lives of British people."

However recent policy announcements by Prime Minister Boris Johnson have added to suspicions a general election is looming.

In recent weeks a £100 million of investment in prisons has been announced, a £1.8 billion cash injection for the NHS and £2.1 billion boost to no-deal Brexit preparations.

All of which have been branded as Tory electioneering by commentators and the Opposition.

Boris Johnson's policy announcements have fueled speculation of an early general election. Credit: PA

Suspicion of an early election has been so high that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn even wrote to the UK's most senior civil servant to demand no-deal be blocked from passing during a campaign.

However last week the PM said: "The people of the UK voted in the election 2015, they had a referendum in 2015, and another election in 2017.

"They want us to deliver what they asked for - and that is for us to leave the EU.

"The last thing I want to do is call another election."