A BREXIT-supporting MP has said there is a link between the most “strident” emails he receives on the subject and Islamophobia.

New Forest West’s Sir Desmond Swayne complained of a “rising intolerance” and a tendency for people to deride their political opponents “traitors, liars and cheats”.

Writing on his own blog, Sir Desmond said: “There is a noticeable overlap between the most strident and vituperative emailers on Brexit and Islamophobia. I can’t understand the connection myself; perhaps it’s worthy of a PhD thesis.

"There is definitely a rising intolerance, an unwillingness to accept that other people who disagree have simply reached a different conclusion, and instead, to categorise them as traitors, liars and cheats.

“So, the sixth-form essay question I leave you with is: To what extent is social media a cause of our coarsening public discourse, or merely a symptom of it? Discuss.”

Sir Desmond campaigned for the Leave side in the 2016 referendum. He supported Theresa May’s Brexit deal the second time it went before Parliament.

Recently, Conor Burns, the Leave-supporting MP for Bournemouth West, said he was deleting Twitter from his phone until Brexit was over, saying he had been called “bigoted, intolerant, racist and illiberal”.

Defence minister and Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood, who campaigned for Remain but backed the prime minister’s Brexit deal, has also received offensive messages.

An abusive postcard to Mr Ellwood threatened to “march, blockade and bring London to its f****** knees”, adding: “This country is at civil war.”

Sir Desmond Swayne said in his blog that the majority of people who contacted him by email offered “opinions and helpful advice”.

But he warned others: “If you are rude, gratuitously unpleasant, or descend to profanity, then you email address will be blocked and any further emails will simply be lost in the aether.”

He also urged correspondents: “Stop telling me exactly what ‘the British people voted for’. After a lifetime of engaging with voters on their doorsteps and elsewhere, I am quite aware of the extraordinary range of reasons people have in voting in the way that they have.

“Equally, given the number of representations that I receive, you can be assured that I will have sampled a wider range of opinion than you have, when you tell me that everyone to whom you have spoken agrees with you.”