was facing mounting fury from Tory backbenchers today after his humiliating U-turn on the lobbying scandal less than 24 hours after forcing MPs to back plans to help the former minister avoid punishment.

One comparing the Prime Minister to the Grand Old Duke of York for ‘marching us up the hill’ on a whipped vote in support of changes to Parliament’s anti-sleaze regime before abandoning the proposal in the face of public fury.

Just 13 Tories defied the three-line whip demanding they support an amendment by Andrea Leadsom that would have halted Mr Paterson’s 30-day suspension for acting on behalf of two firms paying him more than £100,000 annually.

Some 250 supported the move last night before Commons Leader this morning announced the government was dropping the plans following a huge backlash at the ‘politically-motivated’ decision.

To compound the situation, Owen Paterson this afternoon dramatically resigned after  withdrew his support and said he would have a new unwhipped vote on his punishment.

A senior Tory told MailOnline: ‘There will be a lot of angry MPs who gave way and voted for the Government.Marched up to the top of the hill… ‘ 

An ex-minister said there was intense frustration that the situation had been ‘badly handled’. ‘People are writing in, there is hostility on social media,’ the MP said. ‘We the party have taken an enormous hit for absolutely nothing.’

The opprobrium MPs faced over the vote was shown by Tory Peter Bone, who this morning told the Commons his constituency office was vandalised because of his support for Mr Paterson. The building had ‘Tory sleaze’ daubed on it.

Standards committee chair Chris Bryant, a Labour MP, had warned that retrospectively changing the system when an ally was under threat was ‘what they do in Russia’.Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of ‘leading his troops through the sewer’.  

One comparing the Prime Minister to the Grand Old Duke of York for ‘marching us up the hill’ on a whipped vote in support of changes to Parliament’s anti-sleaze regime before abandoning the proposal in the face of public fury.

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Just 13 Tories defied the three-line whip demanding they support an amendment by Andrea Leadsom that would have halted Mr Paterson’s 30-day suspension for acting on behalf of two firms paying him more than £100,000 annually.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg announced the government has dropped plans for a retrospective overhaul of sleaze rules after a huge backlash at the ‘politically-motivated’ decision

A defiant Kathryn Stone (pictured) had indicated she would stay on as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for another year, despite the pressure from Mr Paterson’s camp

 

Tory Angela Richardson revealed last night that she had left her job as a ministerial aide over the vote.But after the dramatic U-turn by the PM this morning, the Guidford MP confirmed that she has got her role back

Guildford MP Ms Richardson (pictured in the Commons recently) said she had abstained in the standards amendment as a ‘matter of principle’  

Owen Paterson was found to have committed an ‘egregious’ breach of standards rules as he lobbied for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.Mr Paterson, pictured with his late wife Rose, claimed the ‘biased’ way the standards inquiry was carried out was a major factor in her suicide last year

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