After many months of confrontations and power struggle between the leaders of the People's Party (PP), caused mainly by political jealousy, desire for power and lack of confidence, open warfare has broken out among the best known leaders of the Spanish conservatives.
On Thursday, the president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the leader who gathered the greatest popular support in recent elections, exploded against the national leader of the center-right formation, Pablo Casado. Diaz Ayuso claims that Casado has fabricated allegations of corruption in an attempt to "destroy" her.
The tug-of-war between Isabel Díaz Ayuso and Pablo Casado is not new: the Madrid regional president has seen her aspirations for greater prominence within the PP curbed. In particular, the national leadership has tried to prevent her from running for the position of leader of the PP in the region of Madrid.
Diaz Ayuso is becoming a political figurehead for right-wing Spaniards, and from that position she could overshadow the national leader, who wants to become the country's next prime minister. And although until today she had maintained a tone of respect towards the national leadership, on Thursday she could not take it anymore.
"It is very painful that leaders of your party, instead of supporting you, want to destroy you," said the president of the Madrid region in a public appearance in which she also asked "hoy many votes those who have been attacking me for months have gotten for the PP?"
The crisis was triggered by a corruption story published by the newspaper El Mundo about alleged espionage on the brother of the Madrid president.
More specifically, the newspaper says that the national leaders of the People's Party would have been investigating a contract awarded by the region of Madrid for the supply of masks during the toughest moments of the pandemic.
The PP investigated whether he collected a commission after he brokered a contract worth 1.5 million euros. Someone from the Madrid City Council (governed by the PP's national spokesman, José Luis Martínez Almeida) asked a detective to investigate the case, the newspaper says.
Isabel Diaz Ayuso's statement. Video: Spanish TV YouTube channel.
Very harsh in her speech, the president of the Madrid region insisted on the lack of consistency in the corruption allegations against her.
"I could never imagine that the national leadership of my party would act in such a cruel and unfair way against me.
"The statements that the media are publishing throughout the morning and that come from people around Pablo Casado and that he does not deny are the worst that can be expected from politicians
"That the opposition attacks me is logical, that the leadership of my party does it because I want to run for the leadership of the PP in Madrid is senseless. The reason for (the national leadership) to prepare a dossier was not to seek any truth but to discredit me personally and politically."
Diaz Ayuso has delivered the allegedly investigated contract to the press and has highlighted that the process was completely legal.
The national leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, has not yet commented on the matter.