MP Geoffrey Cox warns against any 'sordid boundary deal'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDevon Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox warns the government not to make any deals with the Liberal Democrats about boundary changes

"These are the zombie proposals. They are the walking dead proposals which will never see the light of day".

This verdict on the Prime Minister's mission to change constituency boundaries - theoretically moved forward by the Boundary Commission last week - has been delivered by a South West MP.

It would seem an obvious analysis to a lot of people.

How can the PM really hope to push this through the Commons against the avowed opposition of the Liberal Democrats?

Basically it's a judgement on Conservative policy you would expect to hear from almost anybody. Except a Tory MP.

This blunt assessment, though, is offered by Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon.

It's long been an open secret that a number of Tory backbenchers don't share David Cameron's enthusiasm for redrawing the map. Not least those, like Geoffrey Cox, who would see their own constituencies dismembered or entirely removed.

Geoffrey Cox says he had reconciled himself to the loss of his own seat in principle. But he also reveals he would consider voting against the boundary changes if the government tried to secure them by "sordid trading" with the Liberal Democrats on party funding.

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps MP told the BBC's Sunday Politics no wheeling and dealing of this kind is taking place. And Nick Clegg insists the Lib Dems will not be bought with "cash for constituencies" anyway.

But if Geoffrey Cox's views are at all representative of his colleagues, the Prime Minister could now face even more of an uphill struggle.