Rory Stewart has declared he will contest the next general election as an independent following his sacking as a Conservative MP by the Government.

The Penrith and the Border MP was barred from sitting in the House of Commons as a Conservative, following his rebellion against the Boris Johnson government in a key Brexit vote on Tuesday.

Alongside 20 other rebels, including Tory grandee Ken Clarke, former chancellor Philip Hammond and Winston Churchill’s grandson Nicholas Soames, Mr Stewart voted to allow a debate to take place yesterday on whether to delay Brexit again until a no-deal exit had been avoided.

Now officially an independent MP, Mr Stewart told the News & Star of his intention to fight for the Penrith and the Border seat outside the Conservative Party in the next general election.

“I’m very much hoping that we don’t get to this point, but if it were pushed to a point of deselection, then yes, I may have to stand as an independent,” he said.

He lamented the decision taken to sack the 21 Tory rebels from the party.

“We don’t want to be a party that purges people,” Mr Stewart said.

“All except one of the people who rebelled last night were ministers. Most of them had never voted against the government in their lives.

“You couldn’t have a quieter, more loyal group.”

Mr Stewart said that he hoped his Penrith and the Border Conservative Party association would support him in defying the decision from Boris Johnson’s Government to bar him from representing the Party.

“They are an amazing association, but one of the things that’s so sad about this is it’s putting them in a very difficult situation,” he said.

“They’re being forced to make a choice that no association would want to make, between their MP and the party.

“So I hope they’re not going to be forced to make that choice.”

But James Bainbridge, deputy chairman of the Penrith and the Border Conservative Party association, expressed his disappointment in Mr Stewart’s decision to defy the Government.

“I wouldn’t stand with Rory on this. I think he needed to support the Government,” the Carlisle City councillor said.

“He should have supported the Government.

“There are negotiations going on right now to get a deal. By voting to take over the process, Rory has been part of the move to scupper that.”

Mr Bainbridge explained that the removal of the whip - an archaic term for the right to represent a political party in Parliament - from Mr Stewart bars him from standing as a Tory in future elections.

“To be a Conservative candidate for a general election, the candidate has to be on a list of approved candidates, or be in receipt of the Conservative whip of the House of Commons. That’s the official position,” Mr Bainbridge added.

“So as things stand, he cannot stand again as a Conservative Party candidate.”