Whip restored to 10 Conservative MPs who rebelled against government over Brexit

Ten MPs who had the whip removed after voting against the party on Brexit have had the whip restored.

Senior figures including Sir Nicholas Soames and Alistair Burt were among those who have been readmitted to the parliamentary party following a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Twenty-one MPs were kicked out of the party last month after they backed a plan to take control of the Commons timetable to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.

A spokesperson for the party said the 10 Tory MPs who have had the whip restored are: Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Sir Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington.

It comes as the Government seeks backing for its Bill to trigger an early general election.

PM met with rebels to confirm readmission as Tory MPs

Boris Johnson met with the rebels on Tuesday evening. Credit: PA

A Conservative spokesman said Boris Johnson met with 10 of the 21 rebels in his Commons office on Tuesday evening.

He was said to have told them he always wanted to find a way for them to rejoin the party, and the 10 MPs accepted his offer to be readmitted.

"They have had the whip offered back to them, they have accepted the whip: they are Conservative Members of Parliament with the Tory whip," the spokesman added.

He said the decision was not a comment on the other 11 who have not had the whip restored.

Former Tory chancellors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke, along with former justice secretary David Gauke, are among those not to have had the whip restored.

Sir Oliver Letwin, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Rory Stewart, Guto Bebb, Anne Milton and Antoinette Sandbach also remain as independents.

What is the motivation behind restoring the party whip?

Whilst the restoration may help the prime minister pass his Bill through the Commons, ballot papers at an election could still have new Tory candidates on in some fields.

Sir Nicholas Soames, who has been the MP for Mid-Sussex since 1997, earlier announced he will stand down at the next ballot.

The case is the same for the members for Newbury and for Watford, Richard Benyon and Richard Harrington.