EU chief Jean Claude Juncker is behind a plot to get David Davis sacked from the UK government, the Brexit secretary claimed on Friday 12 May.

Davis, a lifelong Eurosceptic, made the accusation against the EU Commission president amid a war of words between Britain and Brussels.

The row was sparked after details of a Downing Street meeting between Juncker, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and Theresa May were leaked to a German newspaper.

Federalist Juncker also apparently told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that May was "living in another galaxy" as the two-year-long divorce talks start.

The UK prime minister initially dismissed the reports as "Brussels gossip", but later claimed that EU officials were trying to "meddle" in the general election.

Juncker has since described the leaks as a "serious mistake" after EU Council President Donald Tusk called for calm. "I think to be honest he has now learned his lesson – he is not going to be meddling in British politics any more or at least if he does he will get the same reaction," Davis told The Telegraph.

He added: "All these stories are briefing against me trying to get me sacked – which of course is a compliment by the way.

"If they don't want me across the table, there is a reason for that – it is in Britain's interests, not theirs."

The remarks come just over three weeks before 8 June election. Former Prime Minister David Cameron has said a big majority for May, who campaigned for Remain at the EU referendum, would allow the prime minister to oppose an "extreme Brexit".

But the Tory premier denied Cameron's theory. "The reason I called the election is that I think we need the security, the stability for five years of greater certainty to take us through Brexit and beyond," she said.

A spokesperson for Juncker had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.