Boris Johnson strips serial rebel Tobias Ellwood of Tory whip over ‘no confidence’ vote

File photo dated 14/05/19 of senior MP Tobias Ellwood who has been stripped of the Conservative Party whip after he abstained in the support of confidence vote in the Government, the Tory whips have said. Issue date: Tuesday July 19, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Ellwood. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

BORIS Johnson last night stripped a serial rebel of the Tory whip after he failed to back the Government in a crunch no confidence vote.

Tobias Ellwood now can’t vote in the crunch Tory leadership contest TONIGHT – as MPs scramble to make it through to the final showdown.

Tobias Ellwood has been stripped of the Tory whip today

HOAR revealed last week how he had caused uproar in his local village when he ran over and killed his neighbours cat.

He was due to back insurgent Penny Mordaunt as four become three in the latest run-off.

Mr Ellwood abstained on last night’s vote – saying he was away on a foreign trip to Moldova.

He said he was “very sorry” to lose the whip but couldn’t get back in time thanks to travel chaos.

Another 13 Tory MPs didn’t vote either, but they won’t face action.

Yesterday the Government won a confidence vote – despite Boris being ousted as PM just 10 days ago.

MPs voted 349-238 to have confidence in the government, but did not mention the PM by name.

A spokeswoman for the Tory Whips Office said this morning: “Tobias Ellwood MP has lost the Conservative Party whip following his failure to vote in support of the Government in the confidence vote last night.”

In a statement Mr Ellwood said: “Following my meeting yesterday with the president of Moldova I was unable to secure return travel due to unprecedented disruption both here and in the UK.

“I am very sorry to lose the whip but will now continue my meetings in Ukraine promoting the Prime Minister’s efforts here and specifically seeking to secure the reopening of Odesa port – so vital grain exports can recommence.”

Critics were quick to point out he lost the Tory whip quicker than Chris Pincher, after he was accused of drunkenly groping two men in a posh club.

Others blamed Mr Ellwood’s repeat attacks on the PM.

But Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries hit back, saying it was “wholly untrue”.

She insisted: “This is wholly untrue and frankly utterly ridiculous.

“Every single MP of every party is under no illusion regarding the price to be paid in not voting during a Gov confidence motion. It’s a very clearly defined and historic red line.

“Tobias could have voted like everyone else.”