NEARLY 50 Conservative MPs, including a string of ministers, rebelled against the UK Government to stop Boris Johnson as the future prime minister suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

The Commons voted 315 to 274, a majority of 41, to approve an amendment to the Northern Ireland [Executive Formation] Bill that blocks the suspension of Parliament between October 9 and December 18 unless a Northern Ireland executive is formed.

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Some 17 Tories voted against the Government while a further 30 abstained in an open display of defiance.

Margot James, the Digital Minister, resigned ahead of the Commons division and was one of the rebels, who voted against the Government; as was the only Scottish Tory MP: Paul Masterton, who represents East Renfrewshire.

Mr Johnson, expected to be elected Prime Minister next Tuesday, was said to have “faced his first defeat before he’s even taken office”.

One supporter of the Tory leadership frontrunner, Colin Clark, urged Theresa May to sack all the rebels. The Gordon MP tweeted angrily: “Many people had to rearrange holidays with family to be in today to see ministers and PPS abstain. They should all be fired. This is a team game!”

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Among those who defied a three-line whip on the bill by abstaining were several Cabinet ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, and Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary; all of whom are expected to be sacked should Mr Johnson take over in Downing St.

David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, voted with the Government, boosting speculation that he is intent on keeping his Cabinet role.

Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary and Mr Johnson’s rival for the Conservative crown, also did not vote; but, he insisted, it had all been a mistake.

He tweeted: “I missed votes today because I thought I was slipped[allowed to be absent] and it turns out I was not. Apologies to my colleagues & Whips Office. My position is that parliament should NOT restrict the hands of an incoming govt in this way & I remain opposed to how parl voted.”

Earlier, Mrs May effectively washed her hands of the matter of sacking rebels and punted the decision to her successor.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is obviously disappointed that a number of ministers failed to vote in this afternoon’s division. No doubt, her successor will take this into account when forming their government.”

Asked why Mrs May, who was still had not sacked the rebels, her spokesman pointed reporters to No 10’s previous comment, noting: “There isn’t anything I can add than expressing the PM’s disappointment.”

Mr Hammond noted: "The Conservative Party has always, at its core, had a fundamental belief in the importance of strong institutions and in a representative democracy there can be no more vital institution than its Parliament.

"It should not be controversial to believe that Parliament be allowed to sit and have a say during a key period in our country's history."

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, tweeted: "Important victory in the Commons today to prevent the Tories from suspending Parliament to force through a disastrous no-deal. Labour will do everything we can to prevent the next Prime Minister dragging us towards a no-deal Brexit."

Ian Blackford for the SNP said: "Boris Johnson must stop acting like a tin-pot dictator and ditch his plans to drag Scotland and the UK off the Brexit cliff-edge. Scotland will no longer be ignored by Westminster.

"Any form of Brexit would be a disaster and crashing out of the EU with no deal at all could cause a recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs and cost every person in the country £2,300 a year. That is a price that Scotland must not - and will not – pay.”

The Commons vote came after the Lords strongly backed a bid to block Parliament being suspended to facilitate a no-deal exit by a margin of 103 votes on Wednesday.

The change to the bill will require progress reports on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland to be debated regularly in Parliament, effectively preventing it from being prorogued.

Downing Street said forcing a report and debate every two weeks risks being "counter-productive" to the aim to restore the Stormont executive.

The PM’s spokesman explained: "We have been very clear that the purpose of this bill is to ensure the continuation of vital public services and effective governance for the people of Northern Ireland.

"In the light of the ongoing talks to restore the Executive our view is that forcing a report and debate every two weeks on the progress of those talks risks being counter-productive to this overarching aim."

DUP MP Ian Paisley said: "What is the outrage today is this is supposed to be a debate on the Northern Ireland Executive formation and has now been hijacked and turned into something to do with Brexit and every issue under the sun except the formation of the Executive, which now looks more unlikely as a result of this piece of legislation."

On Wednesday at the Tory leadership’s final hustings, Mr Johnson again refused to rule out proroguing Parliament to meet his red line of getting the UK out of the EU by October 31. By contrast, Mr Hunt has insisted he would not use such a constitutional manoeuvre.

The amendment to the bill builds on an amendment passed in the Commons last week when MPs backed a proposal from the pro-European Tory Dominic Grieve calling for fortnightly reports from the Government on the efforts to restore the power-sharing executive.

The new Lords amendment would ensure these have to be debated in the weeks before the Brexit deadline, thus making it theoretically illegal for the Government to prorogue Parliament in the autumn if the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland had not been restored.