The number of MPs calling for Liz Truss’ resignation has risen to 14 this morning, after a dramatic implosion of the Tory party last night.

Last night’s fracking vote saw 32 Tory MPs defy a three-line whip, but before they even got that far, there were arguments, tears and accusations of the manhandling and bullying of MPs into voting.

Chief whip Wendy Morton apparently resigned after an extraordinary kerfuffle broke out in the House of Commons with Tory MPs screaming at each other.

The Commons was due to vote on a Labour motion which would ban fracking completely. Regardless of the arguments in favour or against, one of Liz Truss’ key leadership election pledges (one of the few remaining) was to expand fracking where local areas supported it. 

As such, the Labour motion was seen not only as a usual opposition policy the government would defeat but a vote of confidence in the government itself. A three line whip with no excuses was announced. 

Cue uproar. Various MPs including Chris Skidmore and Tracey Crouch said they would not vote against Labour’s motion, regardless of the consequences (losing the whip). Besides, if MPs think they will lose their seats at the next election, what have they got to lose?  Theresa May, former PM, and Kwasi Kwarteng, former Chancellor, did not vote with the government. More bizarrely, Liz Truss – whose policy it is – did not vote.  

When push came to shove, the pressure got too much for Morton, who also did not vote with the government despite being chief whip.  Having apparently burst into tears when asked to choose between Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson for leader, her sudden departure left MPs in the lurch, unclear whether their vote would see them lose the whip. 

While Labour’s amendment was defeated 326-230, the efforts taken to guarantee Tory MPs voted were described as being forced into the voting lobby with members screaming at each other. Most unseemly.  

The deputy chief whip, Craig Whittaker also jumped ship, stating: “I am fucking furious and I don’t give a fuck anymore.” 

Except it seems that Truss managed to persuade Whittaker and Morton to stick around, as the two U-turned on their resignations last night – who knew that could even be done? By all accounts, Truss’ reason for missing the vote was because she was desperately chasing the Chief Whip to try to persuade her to stay. Well, it worked, Downing Street confirmed last night that both remain in post.