Former Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart has quit the Conservative Party and will run as an independent candidate for London mayor.
The former Cabinet minister was among the 21 rebels who had the whip removed by Boris Johnson when they defied the Prime Minister by backing a move designed to block a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Stewart ran against Mr Johnson in the contest to lead his party in June, but on Friday he announced his decision to quit the party and stand down as MP for Penrith and The Border MP the next general election.
I am running as an Independent candidate for Mayor of London, and here's why.
- Rory Stewart (@RoryStewartUK) October 4, 2019
The 2020 mayoral election will pit him against Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, who was backed by Mr Johnson in his Tory conference speech on Wednesday.
Mr Stewart warned of the danger of Brexit to the capital and said he wanted to combat "extremism" in British politics as London mayor.
"I'm leaving that Gothic shouting chamber of Westminster, I'm getting away from a politics which makes me sometimes feel as though (US President Donald) Trump has never left London," he said.