CONSERVATIVES have hit back at claims made by Yeovil MP David Laws that they want to scrap the vital £1-billion Future Lynx helicopter order.

Shadow Defence Minister, Gerald Howarth, is said to be “furious” with Mr Laws for suggesting yesterday that the Tories want to do away with order which is so vital to Yeovil’s AgustaWestland factory and the Ministry of Defence’s helicopter capabilities.

Liberal Democrat Mr Laws’ outburst came when Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, had suggested in his “blog” that the MoD should scrap the Future Lynx – now known as Wildcat – project in favour of a Sikorsky helicopter instead.

Now Yeovil’s would-be Tory MP, Kevin Davis, said: “I have had a call from the Conservative front bench concerning a news report about Mr Laws' synthetic fury about the Future Lynx.

“I am afraid that Mr Laws is misleading you; and the Conservative Shadow Defence Minister, Gerald Howarth, is furious.

“The Conservatives fully support Future Lynx and are not about to cancel it.”

Mr Davis, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Yeovil, also said that Mr Carswell was not a “senior” member of the party as described by Mr Laws, and had “no role in the official party view" on Future Lynx.

Only last week Mr Davis wrote an angry letter to LibDem leader Nick Clegg following a radio interview in which he is alleged to have suggested that the MoD should buy new helicopters “off the shelf from the Americans.”

Mr Davis said: “Mr Laws cannot have it both ways – even if he wants to have a view for local consumption and another view for national consumption.”

And he claimed: “Mr Laws is doing this because he knows he is vulnerable to the accusation that until now he has paid no interest in defence matters - only attending two defence debates out of an approximate 40.”