Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said the party's Brexit rebels may be able to serve on the frontbench, despite disobeying direct orders.
13 Labour shadow ministers, including three party whips, voted against the progress of the Article 50 Bill in the House of Commons last night, ignoring instructions from party leader Jeremy Corbyn to support the legislation.
However, McDonnell told the Today programme this morning that ignoring the party's line on Article 50 is not necessarily incompatible with serving in Labour's fronbench, with only the most senior shadow cabinet members expected to back Corbyn.
And he hinted that any decisions will not be taken until after the passage of the Article 50 Bill.
"If you are in the shadow cabinet or cabinet, the normal conventions will apply, you will be expected to resign," McDonnell said.
"But for other positions, the normal process is that the chief whip will then report,and they will report after the legislation is through, on the process from there on in."
Pressed on whether shadow frontbenchers could stay in post, McDonnell said: "I'm not going to pre-empt what the whip is going to recommend."
A total of 47 Labour MPs voted to against the progress of the Article 50 Bill last night, although it was not enough to prevent an overwhelming majority passing the legislation to the next stage.
MPs will now be able to table amendments to the legislation, before the House of Commons votes for a final time on 8 February.
Following that vote, the House of Lords will begin its own examination of the Bill.