BORIS Johnson last night restored the Tory whip to ten of the MPs he sacked last month – but key ex-Cabinet ministers were still left out in the cold.
The PM met the ten in his Commons office to tell them they were welcome back and could stand for the party in the December 12 election.
But ex-Chancellors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke, former Justice Secretary David Gauke and serial rebel Sir Oliver Letwin were not included.
Amber Rudd, who resigned in protest at the PM’s Brexit strategy last month, has not been offered the whip back either.
The ten offered a return were told by the PM that he always wanted to find a way for them to rejoin the party — and all have accepted his invitation.
They include senior figures such as Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames, former Cabinet ministers Greg Clark and Caroline Nokes and former foreign office minister Alistair Burt.
Mr Hammond had earlier lashed out at Mr Johnson for purging him and other rebels from the party.
And he even claimed the PM was deliberately squeezing out Tory moderates and replacing them with hardline Brexiteers.
The ex-Chancellor told the BBC: “I fear that the real narrative here is that the Vote Leave activists, the cohort that has seized control in Downing Street, and to some extent in the headquarters of the Conservative Party, wants this General Election to change the shape of the Conservative Party in Parliament.”