Ten of the 21 Tories who were booted out of the party had the whip restored tonight just moments before voting to trigger a general election .
Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames was among the group welcomed back into the fold tonight after meeting with the Prime Minister.
Their casting out had prompted fury from Tory moderates and 11 are still Independents – including former Chancellor Philip Hammond.
The 10 MPs are Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington.
A Conservative spokesman told Westminster journalists: “The PM has just met with 10 of the 21 who lost the whip over [the Benn Act to delay Brexit].
“He told them he always wanted to find a way back and these 10 MPs were offered to restore the whip.
“All 10 MPs I believe have had the whip restored to them.”
He added: “To be very clear, the offer of the whip to the 10 Tory MPs – that is not a comment on the other 11.
“What you shouldn’t take from this is the idea that because 10 have been offered it back, 11 are never going to have it offered back.”
Of the 21, 20 were still sitting as Independents while Sam Gyimah became a Lib Dem. However, the number of Independents rose again to 21 after Amber Rudd quit the Tory whip by choice.