Tory MPs could defect to the Lib Dems to wipe out Boris Johnson’s tiny majority

Jo Swinson, new leader of the Lib Dems. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Jo Swinson, new leader of the Lib Dems. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Tory MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit could cross the floor and join the Liberal Democrats to wipe out Boris Johnson's majority in the House of Commons.

Jo Swinson refused to be drawn into comment on which MPs she had been talking to as leader of the Liberal Democrats but suggested she had been actively speaking to MPs from different parties to strengthen the anti-Brexit party's hand in the House of Commons.

The Times reports there had been rumours that Phillip Lee, the MP for Bracknell, was considering departing the Tory party to help prevent a no-deal Brexit.

He was the first government minister to resign over Brexit, and has faced a vote of no confidence by his local Conservative association.

But it is claimed that there is "no substance" to the suggestion.

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Margot James, the former business minister who resigned shortly as Boris Johnson came to power, has also not ruled out leaving the party.

She has said she could not stand on a Conservative Party ticket if it holds an election promising to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.

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The newspaper reports that Swinson is looking to woo the MPs with offers of peerages, under the belief they will be able to put forward more names with the growth of the party.

An insider said: "With the Liberal Democrats expected to win more seats at the next general election, the party should qualify to nominate new peers. It means those tempted to defect could be offered an escape route if they lose their seats."

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