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Ten of the 21 Tory Brexit rebels have whip restored after meeting with Boris Johnson

2 min read

Ten of the 21 Tory rebels sacked for trying to block a no-deal Brexit have had the party whip restored.

The group include seven former ministers, and were made the offer to return to the fold at a meeting with Boris Johnson on Tuesday evening.

It comes as the Prime Minister seeks to get the numbers to pass his early election bill through Parliament and trigger a snap poll on 12 December.

Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Sir Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington have all been handed a reprieve by the PM.

A Conservative spokesperson said they are now eligible to stand again as candidates, although several of them have indicated they are stepping down.

But it means that former Cabinet members Philip Hammond, Dominic Grieve and David Gauke, who were also among the 21 sacked MPs, have not been allowed back into the party and will therefore not be able to stand as Conservatives at the upcoming election.

The group met the PM in his House of Commons office where they were offered the whip back, which they all accepted.

They were part of the group of Tories who backed a motion paving the way for the rebel legislation which helped delay the UK's exit date from the EU.

The spokesperson explained that since they were kicked out of the parliamentary party the Chief Whip has explained to them there was a process for getting back in.

He said: “These 10 have now been through that process.”

But he added this did not mean the other 11, which also includes Ken Clarke, would not be able to also get the whip back.

However several of those not included in today’s meeting have continued to vote against the Government, including on Mr Johnson’s Brexit bill, and now seem unlikely to be invited back.

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