Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been overheard speaking to his French counterpart Florence Parly in Helsinki, following the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament in September and October.
In the exchange, which was recorded without Mr Wallace’s knowledge, he appeared to say Boris Johnson suspended Parliament to prevent MPs from blocking his Brexit plans.
“Eventually any leader has to try… we’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority and a coalition,” he said.
The prime minister has said the move was made to bring forward a “new legislative agenda”.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told the BBC it was “certainly not” an attempt to stop MPs blocking the UK leaving the EU without a deal.