IN a point of order raised in the House of Commons, a Scottish MP has described recent revelations about Tory "blackmail" attempts as "tactics of the Mafia".

Alistair Carmichael, who has been the LibDem MP for Shetland and Orkney since 2001, raised the issue at Westminster following senior Tory MP William Wragg stating on Thursday morning that MPs had faced “pressures and intimidation” from the UK Government over a potential no-confidence motion in Boris Johnson.

It comes after it appears that some Tory MPs have rescinded their letters signalling a lack of confidence in the PM to the backbench 1922 Committee after Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross last night suggested that there was a "significant operation" by Tory whips to "encourage" MPs to withdraw them.

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Carmichael said in the Commons that he had given notice to Wragg of raising the point of order about the "intimidation" and "threatened removal" of Tory MPs who have come out against the Prime Minister.

He said: "Mr Speaker, this is a behaviour of the sort I have never heard. We all understand the need for whips to maintain discipline but this owes more to the tactics of the mafia than anything you will find in Erskine May [parliamentary code of conduct].

"What can you do Mr Speaker, to protect members who wish to express opinions and have differences sincerely and strongly held, but without seeing their constituents disadvantaged in this way and to see them being intimidated into remaining silent when they really want to speak up?"

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle responded saying that MPs may wish to write to him in private if they have concerns.

He stated: "There are allegations about the conduct of whips and special advisers working for ministers. Serious allegations have been made and at this stage, without having had a chance to study what has been said in detail, I can only offer a general guidance as I've been in the chair since this revelation came out, as I understand it at 10 o'clock.

"Those who work for them are not above the criminal law. The investigation of allegedly criminal conduct is a matter for the police and decisions about prosecution are for the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service]. It would be wrong of me to interfere with such matters.

"While the whipping system is long-established, it is, of course, a contempt to obstruct members in the discharge of their duty or to attempt to intimidate a member in their parliamentary conduct by threats.

"There is clear process for raising privileged matters and referring them for investigation to determine whether the conduct in question is a contempt and in the first instance, members raising such concerns should write to me and I hope these general observations will assist the House in going forward."

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Following the point of order being raised in Parliament, Carmichael tweeted that the suggestion of withdrawal of public funding to constituencies based on loyalty is "more akin to a mafia operation than a functioning democracy".

He continued: "We may all have been somewhat dulled to the constant stream of sleaze allegations surrounding this government but the suggestion that funding – from the public purse – is being tampered with to protect the Prime Minister is beyond outrageous.

"The Treasury is not supposed to be Boris Johnson’s slush fund, used to reward cronies and punish the principled.

"The only way to stop this sort of behaviour is for MPs to call it out. We must work together against this Putin-esque abuse of power."

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The job of party "whips" is to ensure discipline in voting for members across the party rather than members voting under their individual ideology or at the will of an outside interest.

Members who vote against the party's policy may "lose the whip" which effectively expels them from the party.