Heaton-Harris was appointed to rescue the Government’s whipping operation. The last 48 hours have not suggested that is going well.
So do five DUP, one Green, two Independents, 22 Labour, and eight Liberal Democrat MPs; the vote passes by 385 to 100.
97 Tories are joined by six DUP, one Green, two Independents, eight Labour, and ten Liberal Democrat MPs; the vote passes by 369 to 126.
They are joined by three Democratic Unionists; the vote passes by 441 to 41.
There were 44 Tory abstentions – which is in the same territory as last week’s vote on the same issue.
But it looks as though some 40 others abstained. That’s a warning shot across the Government’s bows on tax rises.
Most of the action has been over Covid-related divisions. And most of the dissenters are from older intakes.
The move, which aims to increase parliamentary scrutiny of the Government, is also signed by Labour and DUP representatives.
They included seven former Cabinet Ministers, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the Chairman of the 1922 Executive Committee.
This is a carefully-calibrated balancing exercise that honours two rebels who have recently come home.
The key test seems to be whether or not an MP is prepared to pledge their full support to the Conservative manifesto at the next election.
Seven voted for Grieve’s motion, six voted against, and the remaining eight did not vote.
Mark Spencer has reportedly rung round to inform them that they have lost the Whip.
Gauke, Hammond, Burt and other rebels have little intellectual case for their actions; their moral or political rationale is threadbare.
Margot James resigned as a minister following her rebellion. Meanwhile, the Chancellor joined Gauke and Clark in failing to support the Government.