Alec Shelbrooke, the Tory MP for Elmet and Rothwell, has told Sky News that his party is making a mistake by not putting up a candidate in the Richmond Park by-election.
According to my favourite newspaper the Shropshire Star, he told Sky:
"I have said quite openly that I think it's a big mistake the Conservative Party is not putting forward a candidate.
"Let's be clear: Our majority will be cut from 12 to 10. Zac Goldsmith does not cut it to 11, it cuts it to 10 because he will be an opposition MP.
"The Conservative Party will lose the Richmond by-election because we do not have a candidate and I think that is wrong.
"The first time I think since 1963 we don't have a candidate and if Zac Goldsmith thinks that this campaign is just going to be about Heathrow, well, the Lib Dem candidate only has to pop up and say, 'yes, I also won't vote for Heathrow' and they can do that from the Commons and then it can be about a whole host of other issues.
"I'm afraid this really is a rich boy playing fast and loose with the electorate and actually a by-election costs the electorate hundreds of thousands of pounds."If the name Alec Shelbrooke sounds familiar, it is probably because he popped up last week to tell Gary Lineker that he could not be a BBC sports journalist and a political activist.
This was an absurd overdramatisation of Lineker's actions. And, as I showed, there are plenty of precedents for people combining the two roles.
Still, it's always fun to see Tories falling out, and I think the press have found themselves a new rentaquote.
Mr Shelbrooke could be the Anthony Beaumont-Dark of the 21st century.