As the Conservative leadership contest becomes tetchier, Suffolk Coastal MP and cabinet minister Dr Therese Coffey has accused former chancellor Rishi Sunak of "mansplaining" Liz Truss during Monday's TV debate.

Mr Sunak's repeated interruptions of Ms Truss during the debate on tax and the economy prompted Dr Coffey's intervention in discussions after the debate.

The Suffolk Coastal MP is one of the keenest backers of Ms Truss in the leadership election - although most Suffolk MPs are backing Rishi Sunak in the race to Number 10.

She was with Ms Truss during the debate and made the comment about mansplaining in the "spin-room" where journalists and politicians watched the debate.

Meanwhile Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, a supporter of Mr Sunak, said he felt it was important that the debate focussed on issues rather than personalities.

He had not seen the debate itself - but felt it was important that personal attacks did not become a feature of the campaign: "There are serious points that Rishi is trying to make about the economy and some of the policies that are being discussed.

"You need that debate in a contest like this - but personal comments really don't help."

Dr Poulter said he would also like to hear more discussion about other serious areas of government policy like the NHS, housing and education which seemed to have hardly featured.

In Monday night's debate there was hardly any mention of any of these subjects - but there were several minutes of the debate given over to a debate on a tweet put up by Culture Secretary and Truss supporter Nadine Dorries referring to the cost of Mr Sunak's suit and shoes in comparison with a pair of earrings Ms Truss had bought from Claire's Accessories.

Dr Poulter said he was still hopeful that Mr Sunak would make a trip to Suffolk during the campaign to meet supporters - two potential dates were being considered.

But it was something of a challenge fitting them in because the shortened campaign to ensure the new prime minister is in place by the beginning of September did not give much opportunity to go out meeting people.