A TOP Tory claims he became target of a vicious smear campaign after he stopped two of Theresa May’s closest aides becoming MPs.
Former party chairman Grant Shapps says the angry pair stormed out of a meeting vowing: “You will live to regret this decision.”
He then found himself at the centre of a wave of false and malicious rumours which began sweeping Westminster.
Mr Shapps lifted the lid on the “destructive” forces at the heart of the PM’s team as he urged her to clean up the toxic atmosphere in Number 10.
Nick Timothy and Stephen Parkinson were suspended from the party’s approved candidates list after they refused to campaign in the 2014 Rochester by-election won by Ukip.
Mrs May, who was Home Secretary at the time, pleaded with Mr Shapps three times to overturn his decision.
He stood firm but agreed to meet them “out of courtesy.”
Writing in The Sun on Sunday, the ex-minister recalls: “I was shocked by their sheer arrogance.
“At the end of the stormiest meeting I held, they informed me that ‘You will live to regret your decision, chairman.’”
Married dad-of-three Mr Shapps, 48, reveals that months of whispers about his private life resulted in journalists camping on his doorstep.