UK Politics

Tory MP Jesse Norman sacked as adviser over Syria vote

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Media captionWithin minutes of his sacking, Jesse Norman quizzes David Cameron in PMQs on cancer care

Conservative MP Jesse Norman has been sacked as a government adviser after abstaining in last week's vote on military intervention in Syria.

Downing Street said it was "sad" to be losing Mr Norman, a member of the No 10 policy board.

But it said that when it came to party control, there were consequences for not voting with the government.

As someone appointed by the prime minister, he was expected to back the government on key issues, No 10 added.

Thirty Conservative MPs and nine Lib Dems voted against Mr Cameron's motion backing military action in principle, dealing what was seen as a major blow to Prime Minister David Cameron's authority.

Thanks to Labour MPs also opposing the government motion, it was defeated by 13 votes. Some 26 Conservative MPs, including three ministers, abstained or did not take part in the vote for other reasons.

A Downing Street source said: "Jesse has done some very good work on the policy board but he couldn't support the government on a three-line whip the other day, so he has left that position."

The source indicated that no further sackings were expected, as other Tory MPs who failed to back the government in the key vote - including International Development Secretary Justine Greening - were not doing so because they opposed the prime minister's policy but were "absent for other reasons".

Former children's minister Tim Loughton voted in both division lobbies, technically an abstention, but does not currently hold a government job.

Seen as a rising star within the Conservative Party, Mr Norman hit the headlines last year when he was reportedly confronted by Prime Minister David Cameron over his decision to vote against Lords reform.

Mr Cameron set up a parliamentary advisory board on policy in April to help the Conservatives come up with new ideas and give the party a clearer sense of direction in the run-up to the next general election.

The board includes a number of MPs who had rebelled against the government but were regarded as the most talented MPs on the Conservative benches.

It is headed by former cabinet minister Peter Lilley.

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