A record number of MPs have changed their party label during this parliament. Last week another 25 took the total since 2017 to 73.

Twenty-one of them were Conservatives, led by former chancellors Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke, who had the whip removed because they voted against the government last Tuesday to pave the way for a law to block a no-deal Brexit

One, Phillip Lee, actually crossed the floor while the prime minister was speaking from the dispatch box to join the Liberal Democrats. Another, Amber Rudd, resigned as a minister and gave up the whip at the weekend. (The other two switchers were Luciana Berger and Angela Smith, going from independent to Liberal Democrat.)

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