Watford's Conservative Association has responded to reports of a split with the town's MP over Brexit.

The Guido Fawkes political blog this week reported anger from Watford Conservative Association after its three permanent staff resigned to take jobs with a professional campaign group set up by Richard Harrington MP.

Speaking to the Observer yesterday, Mr Harrington said a few members had "not been helpful at all" and were "obsessed with Brexit" but that there was no 'them and us'.

And he denied he had "stolen the association" after reports that members left without access to its office, records, website, email and social media accounts.

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Richard Harrington denies rift with Watford Conservative Association

The Guido Fawkes blog suggested the MP had made the move to head off any attempt to deselect him.

Neighbouring MP David Gauke recently won a no-confidence vote within his own association. Mr Gauke, who is Justice Secretary, believed this was triggered by Leave.EU campaigners angry at his anti-no deal stance joining his local party to try to force him out.

Mr Harrington, who resigned as a minister so he could vote against no-deal, said yesterday on Sky News that he would welcome a similar no-confidence vote as he felt he would also win.

In a statement, the the Deputy Chairs of Watford Conservatives said: "The Watford Conservative Association is currently in a period of transition as officials from the Conservative Party assist in the election of a new chairman and putting arrangements in place between the association and Richard Harrington’s new campaign group.

"We are unaware of any members obsessing over Brexit, or of any attempts to deselect our MP. There are only concerned members who want to build a strong, independent and successful association which is completely committed to having Conservatives elected in Watford.

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"We expect to build a good working relationship with Richard Harrington and his new Campaign Group in the future. Watford residents can expect to see a better and more positive Conservative presence in the town from now on."