Conservative Party (UK)

Rory Stewart announces bid for mayor of London

Rory Stewart on the campaign trail for the Conservative Party leadership in June. Photo: Luke Dray/Getty Images

Rory Stewart, who challenged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Conservative Party earlier this year, announced Friday that he is leaving Parliament and the Conservatives to enter the 2020 race for mayor of London as an independent.

The big picture: Stewart's surprise announcement comes after he gained something of a cult following with an unorthodox leadership campaign, though he ultimately finished 5th. After Johnson expelled him and 20 other MPs from the party last month for defying him over Brexit, he floated the idea of a new centrist party along the lines of French President Emmanuel Macron's En Marche.

U.K. PM's party to expel Winston Churchill's grandson over Brexit vote

Sir Nicholas Soames attends the QIPCO King George Weekend at Ascot Racecourse on July 27
Sir Nicholas Soames at England's Ascot Racecourse in July. Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Sir Nicholas Soames, grandson of British wartime leader Winston Churchill, told the BBC Tuesday he would be among 21 lawmakers expelled from the ruling Conservative Party for voting against Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit.