A senior government source accused Mr Redwood of "cheek" for alleging that highly placed sources were to blame for party divisions. "This chap has done more to divide the party than the rest of us put together," the source said. "The most helpful thing he could do is shut up for Christmas."
Mr Redwood, who last year resigned from the Cabinet to stand against John Major for the Tory leadership, said: "Unity, unity, should be the Conservative cry this Christmas. We need a Christmas truce, which extends through the new year and to the election."
He said the party needed to remember that there were more things that united its members than divided them.