Jeremy Hunt challenged Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson to a post-debate wrestle after a tongue-in-cheek row erupted over who would win such a contest.
The question of the respective candidates’ prowess in the ring arose thanks to an interview with Mr Johnson on the ConservativeHome website.
When asked if he felt compelled to challenge Mr Hunt “to a nude mud-wrestling contest” after being described as a “coward” by his rival, Mr Johnson said: “I would defeat anybody in such a contest, were I obliged to do so, but that’s not how I propose to win this.”
Mr Hunt responded on Twitter simply by saying: “Absolutely not.”
Mr Hunt initially used the word “coward” in his criticism of Mr Johnson for avoiding a live TV debate with his rival, and he used the wrestling debate as an opportunity to return to the subject.
When a journalist suggested there was “only one way to prove” he would in fact beat Mr Johnson in a mud-wrestling contest, he tweeted: “If he turns up to the debate we can have a quick wrestle after.”
As it stands, the only live TV debate is scheduled for July 9 – by which time some Tory members may already have returned their postal ballots.