Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of "alternative facts" as the Labour leader ambushed the prime minister over an alleged deal between the government and Conservative-led Surrey County Council on social care.
The left-winger claimed at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday (8 February) that he had been leaked texts between council leader David Hodge and a special adviser at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The revelation comes just a day after Surrey Council called off a planned referendum on a council tax hike.
The local authority was going to poll voters in the south- east of England over a plan to hike the levy by 15% to pay mainly for social care services.
But the ballot was called off after the council decided to raise the tax by just under 5%.
"My question was whether there had been a special deal done for Surrey, the leader said they had many conversations with the government, we know they have because I've been leaked copies of text sent by the Tory leader David Hodge intended for someone called Nick, who works for ministers in the department for communities and local government," Corbyn said.
"These texts read: 'I'm advised that DCLG officials have been working on a solution and you will be contacting me to agree a memorandum of understanding'. Will the government now publish this memorandum of understanding and, while they're at it, will all councils be offered the same deal?"
But May hit back at Corbyn, using a much-mocked phrase used by a top aide to US President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway.
"One again what we get from Labour are the alternative facts. What they really need is an alternative leader," the Conservative premier quipped.
The prime minister's remarks came after Corbyn's office was forced to deny he is planning on resigning as Labour leader. "It's completely untrue," a spokesman for Corbyn told IBTimes UK.
Hodge has denied Corbyn's accusations. "Surrey's decision not to proceed with a 15% council tax increase was ours alone and there has been no deal between Surrey County Council and the Government," he said.
"However, I am confident that the government now understands the real pressures in adult social care and the need for a lasting solution."