A Tory rebel dumped by the Conservative Party has revealed he was sacked by text while accepting a politician of the year award.
Rory Stewartwas one of 21 Conservatives with 350 years’ experience brutally purged byBoris Johnsonlast night after supporting a move to block no-dealBrexit.
Also purged were ex-Chancellors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke – despite the 77 – year -old Father of the House serving as MP for Rushcliffe for 49 Years.
Former International Development Secretary Mr Stewart – who stood for Tory leadership only two months ago – today warned up to 40 MPs are prepared to defy Mr Johnson.
He called the decision to throw him out of the party “astonishing” and said it was something “you associate with other countries” rather than Britain.
He received the news of his sacking as he was being given the GQ award for politician of the year at London’s Tate Modern.
Asked how he received the news, the Penrith and the Border MP said: “It came by text.”
He added: “It was a pretty astonishing moment. Remember, only a few weeks ago I was running for the leadership of the Conservative Party against Boris Johnson and I was in the Cabinet. And it has all gone very quickly in six weeks.
“It feels a little bit like something you associate with other countries – one opposes the leader, one loses the leadership race, no longer in the cabinet and now apparently thrown out of the party and one’s seat too. “
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Philip Hammond has threatened legal action if the Tories try to drop him as a candidate in Runnymede and Weybridge, Surrey. Mr Stewart said the decision on who should be a Tory candidate should rest with local associations.
“This really should be a choice for local Conservative associations and not a central decision, “said the former leadership hopeful. “This is not a Conservative way of behaving.”
Rory Stewartrose to public prominence this year as he became the unlikely wildcard candidate in the Tory leadership election.
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He was never expected to get through the first round. But his quirky style and anti-No Deal policies saw him sail through to the final five candidates.
But he’s perhaps best known for rumors he might have been
The Old Etonian ex-diplomat, a former private tutor to Princes William and Harry, outright denied he’d ever worked for MI6.
But a Whitehall security source told the Daily Telegraph Mr Stewart was hired by the Secret Intelligence Service as a ‘fast track’ entry after he left Oxford University.
Mr Stewart later admitted that, if he had been a spy, the law would prevent him answering the question honestly.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I am very very proud to have served my country.”
It comes after Boris Johnson suffered a major Brexit defeat when 21 Tory rebels defied him even though they knew they would get kicked out of the party.
As Leader of the HouseJacob Rees-Moggarrogantly slumped on the Commons benches after a long debate, MPs filed into the chambers to give their verdicts on the PM’s bid to c rash Britain out of the EU with no deal.
The victory means they will today take over Parliament in order to try to block the move.
A Bill, introduced by MPs at 3pm today, will block a no-deal Brexit on October 31 by delaying the exit date by three months if there’s no agreement.
Mr Johnson warned if they succeed he will call a general election – but (Labor) will vote against it tonight. The Labor leader said: “Get the bill through first in order to take no-deal off the table.”
Mr Stewart said there were other Tories who had been wanting to block no-deal but were convinced to back the PM.
“There are 30 or 40 MPs who agree with us entirely but didn’t vote with us partly because the threat being made here is terrible for people, “he said.
“It is not just that they were threatened with losing their incomes and jobs, but people feel deeply loyal to the Conservative Party, they want to give the Prime Minister a chance, they don’t want to bring in aJeremy Corbyngovernment.
“He has been able to use all of that and he’s been promising people he can get a deal out of Brussels, but the truth is there is absolutely and never has been any majority either in the country or in Parliament for no-deal. That has been true all the way through – I said it in the leadership race. “
Mr Stewart told the BBC that the PM’s attempt to force through Brexit without Parliament’s consent would effectively be akin to making the country take a “poison pill” that would divide the nation for 40 years.
He said: “I would like to stand as a Conservative for the Conservative Party [at the next election] and I have full confidence that the Government will eventually realize that this is no way to treat a party because in the end we have to bring the country together. This has to be about compromise.
“One of the strongest reasons why this is the wrong thing to do is because to deliver Brexit like this is to create a poison pill which for 40 years will divide this country straight down the middle.
“If you are going to deliver Brexit at all, try to do it legally, constitutionally and with consent. “
Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng defended the decision to withdraw the whip from Tories who voted against the Government on Tuesday.
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Referring to the move to expel former leadership candidate Rory Stewart, he said: “On this central issue, on this key question of Brexit, he chose to vote against the Government and chose essentially to give control of the order paper to the opposition.
“It was very clearly stated that Conservative MPs would lose the whip. Now 21 of them out of 312 – that is about six per cent – chose to vote against the Government and they had the whip withdrawn. That was very clear. “
He added:” I think it is a shame – a lot of them are very talented people. But you cannot have people standing as Conservative MPs when they are against the Government’s policy on the key issue of the day. “
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