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New Forest MP Lewis welcomed back to Tories after being axed for committee rebellion

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Julian Lewis was thrown out of the Conservative parliamentary party in July
Julian Lewis was thrown out of the Conservative parliamentary party in July

A DELIGHTED Julian Lewis has been welcomed back into the parliamentary Conservative Party fold – having been effectively kicked out following a controversial committee vote.

Dr Lewis, the New Forest East MP, confirmed the news this morning and shared with the A&T a message he had sent to his colleagues in the party.

“I’m pleased to let you know that, following a rather gracious letter from the chief whip shortly before the recess, the Conservative whip has been restored to me.

“It’s good to see that the season of goodwill is alive and thriving in the government whips' office – and that I shall be able to vote for a real Brexit under the banner of our party.”

Dr Lewis is an experienced Conservative MP and former defence minister who has held his current seat since 1997.

However, he fell out with its leaders in July this year and was removed from the parliamentary Tories for thwarting the government’s plan to install its preferred candidate as chair of a key House of Commons committee.

According to reports, Dr Lewis voted for himself along with four opposition members of the nine-strong intelligence and security committee to take the key role ahead of former cabinet minister Chris Grayling.

Mr Grayling had been seen as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s choice to lead the prestigious body which will be responsible for releasing a long-awaited report into alleged Russian interference in UK politics.

Although Dr Lewis remained a member of the Tory party, he lost the whip in the Commons, meaning he effectively became an Independent member of parliament.

He was thought to be the first non-Conservative MP for more than 100 years to represent a New Forest constituency in their various forms.

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