Cumbrian MP Rory Stewart has launched a bid to have his sacking from the Conservative Party reversed.

The now independent MP for Penrith and the Border, who was kicked out of the Parliamentary Tory Party a week ago, has confirmed that he is seeking to be reinstated as a Conservative MP.

But the former international development secretary admits he cannot predict the outcome of his appeal to be readmitted to the party, which must ultimately pass across the desk of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Nobody’s given me an idea on when the decision will be made,” Mr Stewart said.

“I’ve appealed the decision to have the whip removed, and it is a quasi-legal process that might take a few weeks to work through.”

Mr Stewart quashed rumours that he has been approached by the Liberal Democrats, to either join the party or enter any form of election pact with them.

“I haven’t received approaches from the Liberal Democrats; I’ve been pretty clear throughout that I’m a Conservative, and I would like to remain a Conservative,” he said.

“I love Penrith, and in the very worst-case situation if I didn’t get the whip back, I would of course consider running as an independent. But that’s not my preferred option.”

Mr Stewart lamented the pressure that his sacking put on Conservatives in his constituency.

“It forces people to choose between loyalty to me and loyalty to the party,” he said. “The longer this goes on the more tension and strain people are under.

“Some people are hugely supportive of me, and are saying that if the worst came to the worst they would quit and back me as an independent.

“Others are angry because they wanted to get a no-deal Brexit through on October 31 and and I blocked it.”

Mr Stewart added that as a politician committed to compromise, the stark nature of the Brexit debate has resulted in criticism from both sides.

He said he wanted a moderate and orderly Brexit and was against leaving the EU without a deal. “If you’re in the centre ground of politics, you’re getting very squeezed,” he said. “I believe compromise is the way through - but then I run the risk of pleasing nobody.”

His appeal to rejoin the party comes after Parliament was shut down this week for more than a month - a move which triggered protests in the Commons chamber from a number of MPs, who saw the ‘proroguing’ of Parliament as undemocratic.

Fresh attempts to call a general election are being predicted by many when Parliament returns in October.

But Mr Stewart admitted it was impossible to predict the future in the world of British politics at present.

“Nobody, including me, knows whether we’re going to be in an election in November or not,” he said.

“If I was to run as an independent it would be a very tight race.

“I could win, but it would be a very narrow victory.”

“Nobody knows how the Prime Minister’s going to respond to parliament’s instruction to seek an extension. MPs are as confused as the public at the moment. “It’s completely uncharted territory, particularly for someone like me. I don’t even know if I’m going to be a Conservative MP.”