More than 100 Tory MPs urge Boris Johnson to reinstate the 21 no-deal rebels
More than 100 Tory MPs have written to Boris Johnson urging him to reinstate the 21 no-deal rebels he kicked out of the party.
The One Nation group, which includes Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan and Robert Buckland, accused the Prime Minister of a “purge of moderate colleagues”.
Former Chancellors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke, as well as Winston Churchill's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, were among the Conservative MPs who had the whip removed on Tuesday night for backing moves to block a no-deal Brexit.
In a letter to Mr Johnson, One Nation group chair Damian Green said: "If your ambition is to unite the party and the country, last night’s actions have hindered that mission.”
He added: “The caucus have supported you and your Government so far, and we want to be able to do so as strongly as possible in the difficult times ahead.
“We can only do this wholeheartedly if modernising Conservatives are welcome in the Parliamentary Party.”
In a statement, the group said: "We are now calling on the Prime Minister to reinstate the party whip to our valued, principled and dedicated colleagues.
“The PM's decision to remove the party whip from these MPs is wrong in principle and bad practical politics! It's time to unite, not divide!”
Ms Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has previously warned the PM not to deselect Tory MPs who voted against the Government on the rebel bill.
She and Culture Ssecretary Ms Morgan both attended part of the One Nation group meeting on Wednesday when they agreed to write to Mr Johnson.
A source close to Ms Rudd said: "The letter speaks for itself."