A Tory rebel dumped by the Conservative Party has revealed he was sacked by text while accepting a politician of the year award.
The former Tory leadership hopeful called the decision to throw him out of the party “astonishing” and said it was something “you associate with other countries” rather than Britain.
Asked how he received the news, Mr Stewart told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It came by text.”
The Penrith and the Border MP attended GQ’s star-studded Men of the Year Awards last night, where he received the top prize for a politician.
But in an ironic twist of fate, he found himself axed from his party on the same night.
“It was a pretty astonishing moment,” he said. “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.”
Mr Stewart said there were other Tories who had been wanting to block no-deal but were convinced to back the prime minister.
“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 a Jeremy Corbyn government.
“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.”