According to the BBC news (in Brexit: PM in new battle after Commons vote defeat published 30 minutes ago) the Conservative Party “expelled” 21 MPs for voting against instruction:

Meanwhile, No 10's decision to expel 21 Tory MPs for defying the party whip on Tuesday continues to causes recriminations in the party.

What does this this mean for those 21 MPs? Do they still have their seats with ability to vote but without party affiliation, or have they also lost their seats?

In Australia (where I'm from) situations like this happen sometimes—an MP votes against their party in spite of instructions—and sometimes that means the MP simply loses their party affiliation and becomes an independent. I'm not sure if that's the same or different here in the UK.

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    It's maybe important to note that in the UK elections of the MPs you vote for persons, not for parties as in other countries. Sep 4, 2019 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


MP's who have had the whip removed (the technical term for the expulsion of an MP from the parliamentary party) retain their seats and their ability to vote. They then sit as independents or, less often, choose to join or form another party.

The big punishment is that they lose the automatic right to run as the candidate for their former party in any future election (unless they are readmitted to the party) which is likely to severely impact their chances of reelection. It is currently unknown whether they are automatically allowed to run if selected by their local party, or whether the national party can overrule that decision. At least one of the 21 Conservative MPs recently expelled is intending to take that question to the courts if necessary.

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    Are they still members of the Conservative party, but have been expelled from the parliamentary party?
    – D. Clayton
    Sep 4, 2019 at 15:47
  • They are generally still members of the Conservative party. Being denied the whip is often temporary and later reversed. Kenneth Clarke, one of those to lose the whip, remained in the party according to Wikipedia, and later became a Conservative peer. However, if they stood for another party or as an independent, that may be grounds for being ejected from the Conservative party, as most parties prohibit simultaneous membership of rivals or campaigning against the Conservatives. (The same is true with Labour, e.g. Jeremy Corbyn.)
    – Stuart F
    Jul 21, 2022 at 10:49

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