A Conservative candidate up for re-election next week has blasted Theresa May for "totally f****** it up" as the poll gap between the Tories and Labour closes.
In an interview secured by The Huffington Post, the unnamed candidate said her election campaign message had moved from "vote for her" to "vote for me" after being accosted by voters over May's recent decisions.
The interview has been published in light of last night's debate, from which May was conspicuous by her absence. The Prime Minister's decision to miss the debate has prompted a firestorm of criticism, led by Labour counterpart Jeremy Corbyn.
The candidate said the people who were approached on the doorstep had the impression she was going after pensioners - the so-called 'dementia tax.'
The Prime Minister was forced into a u-turn on her policy for social care, which would have ensured pensioners with assets of £100,000 or more had to pay for their own care.
May announced there would be a cap on how much would be required in payment in response to the furore which the policy generated.
When the election was announced, the Conservative party had a 20-point lead over Labour, although this has narrowed after a generally positive response to the Labour manifesto.
The Prime Minister has refocused her campaign on Brexit in order to regain ground.