The gruelling two-year-long Brexit talks between the UK and Brussels are already getting heated, with EU Council president Donald Tusk getting dragged into a row between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker.

It comes after a tense Downing Street dinner between Juncker, the president of the EU Commission, and the Conservative premier on Friday 28 April.

A detailed account of the London summit was later leaked to a German paper.

The unnamed source said that Juncker had also phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel to warn her that May was on a "different galaxy" over Brexit.

The UK prime minister dismissed the reports as "Brussels gossip".

But the Tory-friendly Daily Telegraph led with claims on Tuesday (2 May) that the EU has been secretly "plotting" for weeks to stop May getting an early agreement over the residency rights of UK nationals in Europe and EU nationals living in Britain.

The paper reported that Tusk and May discussed the plan on Thursday 6 April, more than a fortnight before the prime minister called for a general election.

"Diplomatic records show that at a meeting on April 11 Piotr Serafin, chief of staff to Tusk, briefed all the officials present from the EU 27 that Mrs May had made clear the UK would seek a deal on expat rights 'probably as early as June'," The Daily Telegraph said.

The dispute could play into May's hands domestically since she said an election was necessary to strengthen the UK's position at the negotiating table.

"We need a general election and we need one now because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the EU agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin," the Tory leader told the public.

The latest poll from YouGov, of more than 1,600 voters between 27 and 28 April, gave the Conservatives a 13 point lead over Labour (44% versus 31%).

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