The former Chancellor had hoped to continue as a Tory MP after being reselected by the local Tory association in his Runnymede and Weybridge seat. However this afternoon the group confirmed they would now be seeking another candidate for any upcoming election. Yesterday a long-standing member of the local Tory party association executive said they hoped he could continue.
June Seager said she and others were “astonished” Mr Hammond was stripped of the Conservative whip during a bloodbath which saw 21 rebels – including party grandees Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames – effectively barred from standing as Tory candidates at the next general election.
Mr Hammond, who served as chancellor for three years until July and was re-selected as the Tory candidate on Monday evening before he voted against Boris Johnson’s government, holds a majority of more than 18,000 in the Surrey constituency, polling a 60.9 percent share of the vote during the last election.
The group said in a statement: “Last night Philip Hammond had the Conservative Whip removed by the Chief Whip.
“This means that he is no longer a Conservative MP and will not be eligible to stand as the Conservative candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge.
“A new Conservative candidate will be selected by the membership in due course.”
It was last night expected Mr Hammond, one of around 16 Tory rebels who voted with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, would be sacked after Boris Johnson officially fired him as Chancellor of the Exchequer six weeks ago.
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Father of the House Ken Clarke was a victim of the historic purge after being an MP since 1970.
Winston Churchill’s grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames was also removed after he backed seizing control of the Commons agenda.
Mr Johnson delivered his earlier threat of removing anyone who opposed him, or even abstained.
Mr Hammond claimed he would explore legal action if there were any moves made to remove him as an MP.
Mr Johnson confirmed he will table a motion for a snap general election to be voted on Wednesday if MPs voted in favour of passing the Remainer bill.
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