The Conservative whips’ office has set up a “roll of honour” to rank the MPs who have helped out the most with campaigning in marginal constituencies.
Emails from deputy chief whip Greg Hands commended six MPs who had helped out with five or more campaign sessions – including his boss, Chief Whip Michael Gove, junior Justice minister Shailesh Vara and Stroud MP Neil Carmichael.
Nearly a third of the Tories’ 303 MPs have taken part in at least one campaign session, including members of the Cabinet, while regular rebels such as Peter Bone are notable by their absence.
But backbench MPs have complained that whips are asking them to undertake tasks like delivering leaflets – traditionally the work of activists.
“This shows you how the voluntary party has been pretty much eviscerated by David Cameron,” said one MP. “That list is full of people desperate to suck up to the whips.” Mr Hands said the roll of honour was to “acknowledge” MPs’ hard work.