Telegraph accused of 'bullying' Tory MPs rebelling against Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn suffers backbench rebellion on Brexit as 19 Labour MPs vote against UK withdrawal from EU

Tory MPs trying to stop a damaging Brexit criticise 'bullying' newspaper front page

Michael Tomlinson, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, told the Prime Minister it is the "duty" of MPs to "scrutinise, debate, consider amendments" the EU Withdrawal Bill but without standing in the way of the referendum decision.

Soubry, a pro-Remain Tory, accused the paper of a "blatant piece of bullying" and told the Commons on Tuesday night that being labeled a mutineer by the Remain-allied newspaper was a "badge of honor".

Their stance triggered a Daily Telegraph front page naming 15 of them as "Brexit mutineers".

"Named and shamed" MPs include Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary who now chairs the Treasury Select Committee; Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Health Select Committee; Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general; and former Chancellor Ken Clarke.

Veteran MP Clarke labelled the amendment to make the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union binding, making sure that Brexit happens at 11pm on 29 March 2019 "utterly foolish" and "silly".

The MPs later won support from Labour colleagues fighting against a hard Brexit with Chuka Umuna, the former shadow cabinet minister, saying the front page was "an ideological witch-hunt to bully Tory MPs to go against their instincts to do what they think best for our country".

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Brexit Minister Steve Baker said: "I regret any media attempts to divide our party".

But despite the revolt, the measure passed through Parliament easily during the first day of debate over whether to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Tory rebels have indicated they will vote against the government's plan to enshrine the UK's exit date in law, which could cause the amendment to be defeated. "But we want a proper Brexit, one that works for jobs and industry, that's what we're trying to get". "I can only see downsides in terms of the government losing control of one of the levers it could use to control the negotiations", he said.

Former Cabinet Office minister Sir Oliver Letwin told MPs that he would vote with the government on Tuesday night, but the part of the withdrawal bill that deals with retained European Union law is a "frightful mess".

"And, there is, of course, a lively debate going on in this place, that's right and proper and important".

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