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Conservative MP Loses Whip Over No-Show, Cannot Vote For Mordaunt


Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has lost the party whip following his no-show in the House of Commons last night to vote in the confidence vote brought about by the gov't against itself. Ellwood's non-appearance did not affect the outcome, with the gov't winning the vote comfortably 349 to 248.

  • Ellwood has been a long-term critic of PM Boris Johnson, and missed the vote last night as he was in Chisinau, Moldova en route to the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Ellwood is not believed to be the only Conservative MP to have missed the vote due to a foreign trip, but is the only one sanctioned - raising speculation that the move came as revenge from the PM due to the long-standing animosity between the two.
  • The issue would not usually be relevant outside of Westminster, but given the Conservative leadership contest continues at pace, the move could have an impact. Having lost the whip, Ellwood cannot vote in the coming rounds of the leadership contest today or tomorrow.
  • Ellwood was a stated supporter of trade minister Penny Mordaunt, who came in second place in yesterday's with 82 votes (one down on Thursday's total).
  • It is anticipated but not guaranteed that fourth-placed Kemi Badenoch will be eliminated from the contest in today's vote (results at 1500BST), with Truss and Mordaunt then battling for the final place in the run-off (former Chancellor Rishi Sunak widely expected to cross the all-important 120-vote threshold today following the elimination of centrist candidate Tom Tugendhat yesterday).
  • As such, the loss of Ellwood's vote could prove crucial should the fifth round vote on Wednesday come down to the wire.

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