By Tim Montgomerie
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Earlier today I published Philip Cowley's list of the 143 Tory MPs who've rebelled against the Coalition. One of the names on the list is Stuart Andrew MP. Stuart was one of the 81 rebels on the backbench EU referendum motion. But guess what? The Cabinet Office will shortly announce that he's the new PPS to Francis Maude. You may remember that Mr Maude lost his previous PPS – Angie Bray – over the Lords rebellion.
This is a significant moment. It's the first sign that rebels may have a hope in the expected September reshuffle. My Whips Office source was careful to point out that Andrew rebelled on a backbench motion rather than government business but neither would he rule out promotions for Lords rebels. "Let bygones be bygones" were his words.
Forgiveness is probably the right way forward but the small number of Tory MPs who have stayed loyal to the Government at all times may not feel the same way if they see rebels leapfrog ahead of them.