Conservative MP Nick Boles divided opinion on social media on Saturday when he tweeted: “There is something about @jessphillips that I find irresistible.”
Mr Boles’ comments were posted alongside a Times profile on the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, in which Mrs Phillips was quoted as saying “I think I’d be a good prime minister.”
The rest of his tweet read: “I would walk over hot coals for her. And yes she would be a great Prime Minister.”
The post garnered hundreds of replies, many of which described Mr Boles’ sentiments as “creepy” – although the Labour MP could be seen to have “liked” the post from her own Twitter account.
Others suggested the pair might have a future in the newly formed Independent Group (TIG).
Warren Morgan, a councillor for East Brighton who quit the Labour Party earlier in 2019, tweeted: “Perhaps both of you should join @TheIndGroup and make that happen.”
The newspaper’s profile touched on the possibility of Mrs Phillips leaving the Labour Party, with the MP quoted as saying: “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.”
The forming of TIG signalled the biggest shake-up of Westminster politics in a generation – with a handful of Labour and Conservative MPs leaving to form the new party, the prospect of further departures has become a talking point.
Meanwhile, not everyone responded negatively to Mr Boles’ 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.”