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Downing Street blocks pro-EU poster showing Boris Johnson sitting in Nigel Farage's pocket

David Cameron has reportedly vetoed the release of a poster designed by the official pro-EU campaign which depicted Boris Johnson sitting in Nigel Farage's pocket.

The attack ad, a pastiche of the Conservative Party's General Election 2015 poster which showed Ed Miliband tucked inside Alex Salmond's suit pocket, was created by Britain Stronger in Europe according to the Times.

However, the billboard is thought to have been blocked by David Cameron who is keen to play down reports of inner-party conflict among Conservatives as he prepares for the aftermath of the vote.

The paper reports that strategists in the Remain camp were keen to link Vote Leave figurehead Johnson with the "toxic" Ukip leader to appeal to swing voters in the EU referendum.

Two sources involved in the campaign confirmed that they were aware of discussions about the poster, and while one senior source said it had been blocked by Cameron, the other said it was still in the running to be unveiled before the vote on 23 June.

"They mocked up a photo of Farage with Boris in his pocket and they were going to give it to the Guardian and do a poster campaign," the individual told the Times.

"Then someone told David Cameron... who vetoed it on the grounds they need to bring the Tory party back together."

While Johnson and Cameron sit on opposing sides of the Brexit debate, the prime minister is apparently "determined to smooth internal party divisions," as he looks beyond the referendum.

When questioned on Sunday around whether Johnson would be banished from the Conservative political cabinet if Remain wins, Cameron said: “No. We have to bring the party back together. I’ve always believed in having the big players on the pitch.”