Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury has hit back after receiving abuse over WhatsApp from a fellow Conservative MP, following the recent party elections for a new leader.

Ms Sandbach, whose constituency covers Malpas and Audlem, has spoken about the messages calling her a disgrace, which are now under investigation.

Ms Sandbach, who backed Rory Stewart in the leadership campaign, tweeted about the abusive messages, which she said were sent by a male MP, apparently over her continuing opposition to a no-deal Brexit.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Telling people to leave the party, particularly now – we're in the middle of a leadership election, we have a very small majority – it's just not an appropriate thing to do and it's actually not a nice thing to be told."

Ms Sandbach refused to name the MP, who she said had been "trawling" through an old WhatsApp group and who she had removed for bullying a former colleague.

She added: "I'm not going to name names because I don't think that's fair and it would probably lead to same kind of bullying towards him and I don't think that's appropriate."

Ms Sandbach linked the abusive message to the "dark ops" she said were used during the Tory leadership campaign.

"I'm certain there were dark ops during the leadership election and you have to wonder why somebody was going through an old group that hadn't been active for many, many, many months," she said.

"All the dark ops we have been hearing about don't cast a good light on politicians and they don't cast a good light on politics.

"You can say it's long been a feature of politics but I think we need to move on from that.

"We're in an age of far greater transparency – this isn't the 16th century when you might have had Elizabethan spies, it's the 21st century and we just want to get on with it."