Ministers 'Face Sack' Over The Govermment's Syria Defeat As Cameron Plans Reshuffle

A number of government ministers face the sack for failing to turn up to the crunch vote on Syria, it has been reported.

David Cameron was humiliated when his motion on military intervention was defeated in the House of Commons by 13 votes.

Now the dust has settled, attention is focusing on senior members of his government who failed to turn up in the division lobbies.

According to the Daily Telegraph, at least five ministers face the sack over the shambles.

The whips office is being targeted, the Independent said, for failing to ensure all the ministers voted.

A reshuffle was expected in any case, including promotions for some female MPs, and Thursday night's defeat has left some in the government looking over their shoulders.

A total of 10 ministers failed to register a vote.

They included International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds, who said they had been in a sound-proof room in the Commons, so did not hear the bell to vote.

This explanation was doubted by Commons insiders, as the bells are extremely loud and can be heard throughout the estate.

Among the other missing Government members, four - Treasury Minister David Gauke, International Development Minister Alan Duncan, Pensions Minister Steve Webb and whip Jenny Willott - did not break from their holidays abroad, all with permission from the whips office.

Gauke said: "I'm supportive of the Prime Minister's position on this. I was set to come back when the whips contacted me to say they had managed to arrange a pair.

"If I had come, then another Labour MP would have come back too."

Cabinet minister without portfolio Ken Clarke had "logistical family reasons" for missing the vote but insisted he backed the Government.

Liberal Democrat Lorely Burt, a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, abstained after speaking out against military action during the Commons debate.

Tory whip Mark Hunter and Liberal Democrat PPS Tessa Munt also missed the vote for unknown reasons.

According to The Guardian, Cameron was facing calls to overhaul his party after being told that the vast majority of his MPs only supported the government motion 'grudgingly'.

Asked about Greening and Simmonds' absence, the Prime Minister said: "This was a technical issue. They had made it for the first vote, they were in a room in the House of Commons where they didn't hear the division bell. They missed the vote.

"They have apologised profoundly, I have accepted that apology. It wouldn't have changed the result."

It is understood that Greening and Simmonds were in a room near the Commons chamber, discussing the situation in Rwanda, when the vote was called.