BOURNEMOUTH East MP Tobias Ellwood has admitted he is 'encouraging' a delay to the UK leaving the European Union because it is 'not in anyone's interest to see No Deal affecting Britain'.

Mr Ellwood told the Radio 4 today Programme that he 'didn't know' if Theresa May was going to announce a delay to Britian's EU departure but was 'encouraging' that to happen.

He said he was tempted to stand up for the face that 'the scale and damage to our economy, our security, and indeed our reputation' overshadowed any leverage a No Deal would give.

He also launched an attack on the European Research Group of Conservative MPs who have been referred to as 'a party within a party'.

He said Theresa May had 'done her utmost to appease the ERG.' "The referendum itself was done with that in mind and the Article 50 letter was sent with them in mind," he said.

"I'm afraid there's been a block in our party which has hindered the Prime Minister getting this across the line. Ultimately the clock is ticking down; if we can't get this deal across the line we are facing the prospect that we'll have to extend."