FORMER Tory chancellor Philip Hammond announced yesterday he will be standing down as an MP – but will remain an “active party member”.

Hammond had the whip removed by Boris Johnson after voting to block a No-Deal Brexit and he was not among the 10 Tories reinstated before last week’s General Election announcement.

It means he would not have been able to have stand as a Conservative candidate at the upcoming December 12 election or else he would have faced party expulsion.

Hammond served as foreign, defence and transport secretary under David Cameron before Theresa May installed him in Number 11 Downing Street. He resigned the role after Conservative MPs chose Johnson to replace May as leader.

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Remain campaigner Hammond, who has been MP for Runnymede and Weybridge in Surrey since 1997, said in a resignation letter to constituents: “However aggrieved I feel at the loss of the whip, and however strongly I believe that we must deliver Brexit through a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU to protect British jobs and prosperity, I remain a Conservative and I cannot, therefore, embark upon a course of action that would represent a direct challenge in a General Election to the party I have supported all my adult life.”

Hammond said he would work to ensure the Conservatives’ future is a broad-based, forward-looking pro-business and pro-markets centre-right party”.

When Nigel Farage was asked if he wanted to pay tribute to the former cabinet minister, the Brexit Party leader replied: “Not really. He’s a fraud. He was elected in 2017 on a manifesto to respect the result of the referendum and over the past few years he has undermined it in every single way he could. It’s that kind of dishonest politics that we want to see the back of.”