Mark Francois denies making throat-slitting gesture, claims insects were stuck in his jowls

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Amid growing concern about violence in British politics, the Tory party was forced to deny that the bombastic brexiter Mark Francois made a gesture mimicking a throat being cut towards Theresa May, explaining that he was merely trying to dislodge some insects from the folds of his chins.

Simon Williams, from the Conservative Whip’s office, told the press that the early summer heat was particularly hard on the rotund MP, known affectionately in Westminster as “Jabba the Cunt”, since many insects dig into his crevices looking for food and somewhere to lay eggs.

He went on, “Mark was not threatening anyone. He simply ran his finger into his neck cracks to remove some mayflies. Bits of food get stuck between his chins and that attracts the local bugs. They scratch him raw in this season so he is constantly trying to get them out.

“Sometimes that can look like he is childishly implying the murder of a female colleague. But he didn’t as that would mean the Prime Minister is so weak she can’t turf out a bloviating fuckwit who just threatened her in public.”

However, Mr William’s statement seemed at odds with an earlier justification by Mark Francois explaining his gesture.

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In a series of since-deleted tweets, the veteran of several TA camping trips explained that the gesture was not a threat but simply a result of the military training that made him “a finely- tuned war machine.”

He went on, “It might seem odd for Johnny Civilian, but you develop a gallows humour in the trenches. When you’re huddled in a Salisbury plain foxhole, hiding from a search party of CCF cadets, you use gestures to communicate and there’s no time to be PC about it.

“Did you know I once drove a tank?”