TORY membership is growing on both sides of Butser Hill – with Brexiteers and Theresa May critics cited as the likely cause.

Forty-two members have joined the East Hampshire Conservative Association in the last six weeks, according to a national newspaper.

Damian Hinds MP is one of 12 cabinet members who has seen their local party grow, according to the Sunday Times, with 42 out of 75 associations approached by the newspaper reporting an increase. And, while they have been unable to provide figures, numbers have also risen in the Meon Valley seat held by Theresa May’s colleague George Hollingbery.

East Hampshire Conservative Association chairman Anthony Marten put the increase down to “leadership” while Horndean councillor Tory Guy Shepherd doesn’t appear to disagree.

He said: “I’m aware membership numbers have gone up and we think a lot of that is because of all the anti-issues around Brexit, and people getting themselves in a position where they can vote for something.”

With questions also surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the ongoing anti-Semitism row, the Post also queried whether Labour membership figures have increased in East Hampshire ahead of a possible leadership challenge.

No one from the party was available for comment but the East Hampshire Liberal Democrats have reported a “big” rise in membership, according to the secretary, Roger Mullenger.

He said: “I’ve not looked closely at the numbers in the last few weeks but they’ve increased hugely over two years, almost doubled.”