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Why Johnson could regret kicking the independent conservatives out of his party

Ex-Tory candidates will add another layer of unpredictability to what was already going to be a chaotic election

By Rachel Sylvester  

Dominic Grieve will stand as an independent in Beaconsfield. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

Ed Vaizey, the moderate former arts minister, was asked on the Today programme this morning whether he was comfortable fighting an election on behalf of a Conservative Party that had no room for Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond, David Gauke or Dominic Grieve. When Nick Robinson put it to him that the Tories were now a “narrow, ideological, factional” party he replied simply: “Yes.”

Vaizey—one of the 21 Conservatives who lost the whip for voting…

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