Veteran Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has admitted that it has been 'hell' for his business over the last few years - following reports that he is challenging a petition from the Government's Revenue and Customs department over alleged unpaid tax.

It is understood there will be a hearing in the High Court in January.

Mr Afriyie, who is standing as a prospective parliamentary candidate for Windsor where he hopes to win a further term as MP, has been seeking a buyer for his content marketing agency Axonn for some time.

He said: "Sadly, sometimes businesses get into difficulty.

“Frankly it’s been hell for Axonn over the last few years and I’m pleased that it has finally been acquired and the remaining jobs secured.”

A spokesperson for Mr Afriyie said he had stepped back from running his businesses 14 years ago when he became Windsor's MP. She said they were now run by their management teams although Mr Afriyie sometimes had to take action if a business got into difficulty.

She said he had been advised to place the company into administration earlier this year in the interests of creditors and staff. The petition from Revenue and Customs arose from 'complex business reasons related to several residual business interests'.

She said: "His legal representatives are aware of the petition and are in ongoing discussions with HMRC regarding business related taxes that might be due."

She believed the petition was likely to be dismissed when ongoing negotiations led to an agreement.