Watford's MP has responded to a report saying his campaign launch was a "flop" that degenerated into confrontation.

Political blogger Guido Fawkes reported that Richard Harrington's campaign launch at Watford Palace Theatre on Thursday turned sour as the former minister accused Watford Conservative Association members of contacting pro-Brexit group Leave.EU to organise a vote of no confidence.

The blog claimed that speaking to an audience of around 50, Mr Harrington would not address any questions on Brexit or his recent establishment of a separate campaign group staffed by former Watford Conservative Association workers.

It said the MP had "managed to alienate" many of the people at the launch, justifying the creation of his new group by accusing local activists of not putting enough effort into collecting local canvassing data.

The article claimed that after one audience member told the MP if was not fair to criticise unpaid volunteers, Mr Harrington got into "an open confrontation" and accused them of contacting Leave.EU to try to organise a vote of no confidence against him.

Neighbouring South West Hertfordshire MP David Gauke last month won a no-confidence vote held by his association, and then claimed it had been brought about by Leave.EU campaigners who joined the party specifically to get rid of him.

Mr Harrington, who stepped down as a minister so he could vote against a no-deal Brexit, said: “It was excellent to see so many campaign volunteers at last week’s successful and positive launch event, with a great turnout of 70 people.

"I enjoyed speaking with local Party activists and members, and am delighted to see so much enthusiasm for campaigning to maintain a strong Conservative presence in Watford.”