Recently-elected Labour MP Laura Pidcock caused a stir last month when she said she had “absolutely no intention” of being friends with any of the Conservatives she encountered at Westminster.
So how do members in Brighton feel about having friends across the political divide?
You don’t have to look far at a Labour conference to see badges and t-shirts with the slogan “never kissed a Tory”.
‘Tongue in cheek’
But manning the LGBT Labour stand that sells them, Chris Wills from Manchester says the line “is meant to be very tongue in cheek, not divisive or hostile”, pointing out that the Tories have adopted their own versions.
Sporting one of the badges, Stephen Stanners, from Blyth Valley, says Ms Pidcock’s comments had been “slightly twisted” (she later clarified that she represented all her constituents and would work with Tories in their interests).
“At the end of the day she’s not in Parliament to make friends, she’s there to do a job for her constituents,” he said.
Vince Barry, chairman of Plymouth Labour Students, said he had personal friends who vote Conservative.
“It’s difficult if you start talking about politics but as long as you stay away from politics it’s OK,” he advised.
Does Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner share his view? Well, no.
“I don’t want to spend my time going on holidays with a Tory,” the veteran MP told the BBC.
“The idea would be appalling. When you go on holiday you want to enjoy yourself, not be arguing the toss about different things.”
Does he have friends who are Tories? “Doubt it. But it doesn’t matter to me at all, I’ve never even given it a thought until you’ve raised it. I think it’s a crazy notion.”
‘I keep quiet’
As a Labour councillor, Jo Sergeant from Bristol, is happy with to work with her political opponents.
“On a personal level they’re OK,” she says.
Her fellow councillor Harriet Bradley adds: “Not friends, but I have got a lot of Tories in my extended family. They tease me and I just keep quiet about it.”
But Chris Owen from Dewsbury doesn’t keep quiet.
“If there are friends of mine who are Tories I persuade them it’s the wrong thing to do,” he claims.
“I am a committed socialist, and that comes through with people.”
‘Friends for years’
His friend, Paul Cooney from Huddersfield, advises “setting parameters” to avoid discussing controversial topics.
It clearly is possible to make friends across Westminster’s political divide, as Ealing North MP Stephen Pound explained.
“The tradition is that your opponents are sitting opposite you but your enemies are behind you,” he said.
“Nigel Evans (Tory MP for Ribble Valley) and I have an understanding and we have been close friends for many years.”
“I am friendly with Tories because I wish to show them the error of their ways, and show them the paths of righteousness.”