Whip stripped from Tory heavyweights after Brexit rebellion

By David Hughes, PA Political Editor

Two former chancellors are among the 21 Tories who have been stripped of the Conservative whip and effectively barred from standing at the next general election in retaliation for rebelling over Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the move after they backed a plan to take control of the Commons timetable to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.

Here are the 21 rebels:

– Kenneth Clarke: The veteran MP for Rushcliffe since 1970, a former chancellor, home secretary, justice secretary, health secretary and education secretary and the Father of the House.

Former chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond in Downing Street in central London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

– Philip Hammond: Theresa May’s chancellor until July, and previously foreign secretary, defence secretary, transport secretary. MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, he promised the”fight of a lifetime” if the leadership tried to block him from standing as the Tory candidate at the next election.

– David Gauke: He was justice secretary under Mrs May, and previously held Cabinet roles as work and pensions secretary and Treasury chief secretary. MP for South West Hertfordshire.

The 21 Conservative MPs who rebelled against the party (left to right, top row) Kenneth Clarke, Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Greg Clark, Sir Oliver Letwin, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, (middle row) Rory Stewart, Sir Nicholas Soames, Alistair Burt, Sam Gyimah, Stephen Hammond, Guto Bebb, Richard Benyon, (bottom row) Steve Brine, Richard Harrington, Margot James, Anne Milton, Caroline Nokes, Antoinette Sandbach and Edward Vaizey (UK Parliament/PA)

– Greg Clark: MP for Tunbridge Wells, he served in the Cabinet under Mrs May and David Cameron as communities secretary and then business secretary.

– Sir Oliver Letwin: MP for West Dorset, one of the leading figures in the rebel group. He played key roles in the Cameron government as Cabinet Office minister and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

– Justine Greening: Putney MP, former education secretary, international development secretary and transport secretary. She told the PA news agency: “For me no-deal was always the most profoundly un-Conservative policy you could possibly have.”

– Dominic Grieve: Beaconsfield MP and former attorney general. The legal brain a series of rebel moves to block a no-deal Brexit.

– Rory Stewart: Penrith and The Border MP and former international development secretary. Stood against Mr Johnson in the Tory leadership race.

– Sir Nicholas Soames: MP for Crawley from 1983 to 1997 and for Mid Sussex since then. Grandson of Winston Churchill, former defence minister and shadow defence secretary.

– Alistair Burt: North East Bedfordshire MP, well-respected former Foreign Office minister. Told PA it was a “policy of insanity” to strip the whip from so many senior Conservatives.

– Sam Gyimah: East Surrey MP, former education minister. He told PA: “I’ve enjoyed being a Conservative member of Parliament but voting to stop a no-deal was the right thing to do.”

– Stephen Hammond: Wimbledon MP, former health minister.

– Guto Bebb: Aberconwy MP, former defence minister.

– Richard Benyon: Newbury MP, former minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

– Steve Brine: Winchester MP, former junior health minister.

– Richard Harrington: Watford MP, held a series of junior ministerial roles, most recently in the Business Department.

– Margot James: Stourbridge MP, former digital policy minister.

– Anne Milton: Guildford MP, former minister for women and education minister.

– Caroline Nokes: MP for Romsey and Southampton North, was immigration minister in Mrs May’s government.

– Antoinette Sandbach: Eddisbury MP, the only one of the rebels not to have held a frontbench position.

– Edward Vaizey: Wantage MP, culture minister under Mr Cameron.

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