THERE was outrage in the House of Commons as MPs voted in favour of an amendment to parliamentary standards that will protect a Conservative MP who broke the rules.

MPs were voting on a UK Government bid to reform standards at Westminster in an attempt to protect North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson.

Paterson was found to have broken standards codes as he lobbied ministers and officials for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.

The Tory MP, who angrily denied the findings against him, could have faced recall proceedings that may have triggered a by-election if the recommended six-week suspension had been approved.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone recommended he be banned from the Commons for six weeks, which represents 30 sitting days.

UPDATE: Tory government U-turns on standards committee overhaul after sparking backlash

MPs voted in favour of the amendments by 250 votes to 232 and when the result was announced, cries of "shame" and "What have you done to this place?" were heard in the house.

MPs later voted 248 to 221, majority 27, to approve the motion as amended – therefore confirming the proposal to consider reforming the House of Commons standards system and prevent the immediate suspension of Conservative former minister Owen Paterson.

The amendments on the case looked to delay or completely quash any sanctions as Tory MPs and ministers were told by Government whips to back the attempts to reform the standards procedure.

One amendment put forward by former leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom would see the creation of a new committee that would examine whether the case against Paterson should be reviewed.

READ MORE: Tories trying to 'neuter' Parliament to save lobbying scandal MP from suspension

A separate amendment proposed by New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis said no further action should be taken “on compassionate grounds” and this has been supported by fellow Conservatives William Wragg and Peter Bone, with a total of 13 MPs backing it as of Tuesday evening.

SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart (below) said his party colleagues would not take part in the committee proposed by Dame Andrea Leadsom, telling MPs: “They want to overthrow the verdict of the independent committee and to have the matter determined by a committee with a Conservative chair and a Conservative majority.

“That’s natural justice Conservative-style.

“Can I say this committee is supposed to have a Conservative chair, four other Conservative members, three Labour members and one Scottish National Party member.

“The Scottish National Party will not serve on any kangaroo court designed and determined by this party in order to do away with an independent process for looking at the breach of the rules.”

The National:

​READ MORE: Tory MP faces suspension over 'egregious case of paid advocacy'

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner accused the Tories of being “rotten to the core” after the “absolute disgrace”.

Labour former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, raising a point of order in the Commons, said of the newly created committee: “I don’t believe any honourable member is truly honourable if they serve on this new committee.

“I want my constituents to know that no Member of Parliament serves on this corrupt committee in my name.”

Wishart told MPs he thought the amendment being considered by the UK Government was “some kind of joke” when he first saw it.

He said: “Today we have the full force of the Government whipping operation dragooning Conservative Members of Parliament through this House to overturn the decision of our standards committee and to introduce by a new way how we look and examine breaches of our rules in this House. It is almost outrageous in its suggestion.”

Wishart added: “The public are watching this, the public are examining how we do this kind of business. May I ever so gently say to my Conservative colleagues across the benches they are not liking what they are seeing. They are extremely concerned with the way this House is going when it comes to some of these issues.”

He accused the Government of “attempting to turn back the clock to the worst examples of 1990s Tory sleaze”.

READ MORE: Tory claims MPs are not paid enough as Universal Credit slashed

Parliamentary commissioner Stone's investigation found Paterson repeatedly lobbied on behalf of two companies for which he was acting as a paid consultant – Randox and Lynn’s Country Foods.

Paterson claimed the investigation was unfairly conducted and argued the manner in which it was carried out had played a “major role” in his wife Rose’s suicide last year.

The Prime Minister said paid lobbying in the Commons “is wrong” and those “who are found guilty of that should apologise and pay the necessary penalties”.

“But that is not the issue in this case or this vote that is before us,” he added to MPs.

There was a significant rebellion from Conservatives who refused to follow orders to back the bid, with longest-serving MP Sir Peter Bottomley suggesting overhauling the system now would be improper.

“We chose the system we are now using,” he said. “If we want to consider changing it, we do it in a proper way instead of considering it in the way we are now.”

Owen Paterson has since resigned as an MP. The senior Tory announced his resignation on Thursday after the Prime Minister was forced into a retreat over plans to prevent his immediate suspension by launching a review of the entire disciplinary system.