REBEL Tory MPs voted with the opposition to get a proposed law to prevent a No Deal Brexit debated by the House of Commons.
Boris Johnson swiftly removed the whip from the 21 – effectively sacking them by preventing them standing as Conservative candidates – and now wants a general election.
2 Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of CommonsCredit: PRU
Who wants Brexit to be delayed?
The Prime Minister has said the UK will leave the EU on October 31, whether a deal with Brussels has been agreed or not.
In a bid to stop a No Deal Brexit, Conservative MPs defied Mr Johnson to join with opposition parties to take control of the House of Commons agenda.
That means MPs will now debate legislation which will force the Government to seek a Brexit extension if there's No Deal – this time, to the end of January 2020.
Under the terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) (no 6) Bill, the Government must seek a delay to the UK's withdrawal from the EU until January 31 if there is no agreement with Brussels in place by October 19 and Parliament has not approved a No Deal Brexit.
Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin were also among the deselected Tory MPs – alongside Greg Clark, Stephen Hammond, and Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach.
Other rebels include Steve Brine, Ed Vaizey, Caroline Nokes, Guto Bebb, Sam Gyimah, Margot James, Richard Benyon and Anne Milton.
Three Tories — Justine Greening, Sir Alistair Burt and Keith Simpson — earlier revealed they would be stepping down at the next election.
Taking the whip off the group means they can’t stand again in an election as a Conservative candidate – effectively ending their political careers.
2 From top left: Sam Gyimah, David Gauke, Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, Guto Bebb, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes; Justine Greening, Sir Nicholas Soames, Anne Milton, Rory Stewart, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Stephen Hammond; Ken Clarke, Richard Harrington, Sir Oliver Letwin, Richard Benyon, Dominic Grieve, Antoinette Sandbach, Greg Clark
How likely is this to happen?
With the rebels cast out from the Tory fold and the defection of MP Phillip Lee to the Lib Dems, Prime Minister no longer has a Commons majority.
He has now called for there to be a General Election, which he is believes will result in enough Brexit backing Tory MPs to defeat any moves to thwart the UK.
With the Conservatives being the standard bearers of Brexit, voters who backed leave in the 2016 referendum will rally to the party, his thinking goes.
But the Fixed Term Parliaments Act means he must get two thirds of MPs to agree to a ballot.
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Jeremy Corbyn has said he will refuse to back the PM’s bid today to hold an election – unless he can also ram through a law to stop a No Deal.
He demanding a cast iron guarantee Brexit will be delayed before he will order his MPs to support Boris Johnson’s snap general election.
Another way to block the bid to thwart No Deal Brexit would be or peers in the House of Lords against the legislation to filibuster – talk and talk until there is no time left to get it through.