Theresa May blocked move to deselect Tory rebel Heidi Allen, ex-chief aide reveals
Theresa May blocked an attempt to deselect serial Conservative rebel Heidi Allen, according to her former top aide Nick Timothy.
The revelation came amid calls for Tory MPs to face deselection after they helped inflict a shock defeat on the Government's key Brexit legislation last night.
Ms Allen was among 11 Tory MPs who backed an amendment by former attorney general Dominic Grieve to give Parliament a 'meaningful vote' on the final Brexit deal.
In the aftermath of the embarrassing defeat, Tory Brexiteers reacted furiously, with outspoken backbencher Nadine Dorries calling for rebel MPs to “be deselected and never allowed to stand as a Tory MP, ever again”.
However, former Downing Street chief of staff Mr Timothy moved to quell the uproar this morning by revealing that the Prime Minister had previously blocked a deselection attempt against Ms Allen.
Taking to Twitter he also called for "calm" and said the Conservative party must "remain a broad church”.
Ms Allen has previously spoken out against the Government on a range of issues, most recently over the rollout of its flagship Universal Credit welfare reform.
Since being elected in 2015 she has rebelled 8 times.
Mr Timothy’s intervention follows condemnation of Ms Dorries’ outburst by Tory colleagues.
Sarah Wollaston, who was another of the 11 Conservatives to vote in favour of the amendment, replied: “Get over yourself Nadine,” after her Tory colleague questioned Mr Grieve's suitability for his role as Intelligence and Security Committee chair.
Former minister Nick Boles also rebuked Ms Dorries.
One of the rebels, Stephen Hammond, was sacked from his role as vice-chairman of the Conservative party for London shortly after the vote.