A Conservative MP has been pitched into a battle with his own local party over whether he can stand in the upcoming general election.
David Mackintosh, MP for Northampton South, has been heavily criticised for his involvement in the loss of a £10.25 million loan to Northampton Town football club by the local council.
The loan, which was approved while Mackintosh was the leader of the council, has not been repaid and the work it was intended for has not been carried out. This triggered a series of investigations, including an ongoing one by Northamptonshire police.
Attempts by the local party to force the MP to resign over the matter were quashed by Tory HQ last December.
But a senior source from the Northampton South Conservative Association told Politics.co.uk this morning that an emergency meeting is expected to be held next week to discuss if there is a way to prevent Mackintosh from standing again.
"We were sitting things out with the view that he would be a one-term MP," the source said.
"That's all changed now. His name is mud in the town and members don't want to be out campaigning for him."
It has been a huge honour to represent Northampton South in Parliament. I hope to be re-elected on 8th June https://t.co/SWfs9OsVX2
— David Mackintosh MP (@davidmackintosh) April 18, 2017
The source said that Mackintosh made the announcement that he was to stand again without discussing it with the local party.
The local association fears the party's slim majority of just 3,793 could be easily lost if there is no change in candidate.
"The feedback on the doorstep really isn't good," the source said. "We don't think he can win."
Last year, the MP apologised for his part in granting the loan after an internal audit found that the council approved it without proper checks, and that Mackintosh himself had stressed the importance of the transaction being carried out promptly.
"I apologise for the part I played in the granting of the loan to Northampton Town Football Club," he said. "I am sorry that our efforts to support the club ended as they did.
"I do, however, refute the suggestion that undue pressure was put on officers to deliver the loan. As leader of the council, I always expected projects to be delivered without unnecessary delay, but never asked or pressured officers to cut corners."