Whip restored to 10 of the 21 Tory rebels

Ten MPs who were expelled from the Conservative Party last month after rebelling over 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.

Former ministers Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington have also had the whip restored.

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

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.

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