The Isle of Wight Reform UK election candidates have said they were "surprised and shocked" to hear MP Bob Seely's claims he had been approached to stand for their party.

In a letter to media outlets this morning, Sarah Morris said herself and Ian Pickering, the Island's parliamentary candidates for Reform, found it hard to believe Mr Seely would be welcome in the party as a member, let alone a candidate.

She said: "We were surprised and shocked to read in the Sun today that you (Mr Seely) had been approached by Reform UK to defect from the Conservatives and join us and stand as an MP candidate in the forthcoming General Election.

"We contacted the most senior members of our party who had no knowledge of this approach that you claim to have received. 

"In the interests of transparency could you please identify who it was you spoke to at Reform UK so that we can confirm your story. 

"No-one in the Isle of Wight Branch nor its two PPCs have any knowledge of your claim. 

"Given that one of the PPCs would have to necessarily be removed it would be useful for us to know which candidate you wanted to step down.

"We find it hard to believe that someone with your ever leftwards views and, at best, only a mild supporter of Brexit would ever be welcome in our party and certainly not, in the light of the Conservative Party's gross mismanagement of Government, be welcome here as even a party member on the Isle of Wight."