THE MP for Alston, Nenthead and Garrigill has said he could get Brexit done and reunite a divided nation if he became Prime Minister.

Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, outlined why he has put his hat in the ring to become the new leader of the Conservatives Party, alongside 11 other candidates, when current Prime Minister steps down from the role on June 7.

During a week when his leadership bid started to gain traction, he said why his rivals need to start recognising his threat.

“I believe that I can get Brexit done, beat Jeremy Corbyn and reunify the country,” he said.

Mr Stewart was initially viewed as an outsider. However, in the past week he has begun a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #Rorywalks, which has seen him head onto the streets of Britain armed with an iPhone to speak to the general public.

Mr Stewart explained: “The way I’ve changed this campaign is by getting out on the streets. Those other guys are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on their campaigns, and I’m getting 10 to 15 times the views and reach.

“People who would not traditionally vote Conservatives are engaging with me, and young voters are getting onside.

“I need other MPs to believe that I can win a General Election. They care about changing the country and to create the kind of Britain they believe in depends on being able to win an election.”

Of the rival candidates, the Secretary of State for International Development believes only two pose a real threat: Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

“The real question is would you rather have me, Boris or Michael as Prime Minister?” Mr Stewart asked.

“If I had to guess, I would say the biggest competition in terms of reach and our style of Government and ability to get things done... I think Michael Gove is very effective.

“The question is, would he win an election in the way I can? I don’t know.

“Alternatively, you have Boris who is the only genuine celebrity in the race. I think that’s something that’s an asset but could also be a bit intrusive.

“He’s got huge supporters and is a great speaker, but there are some people who don’t think he’s quite right for Prime Minister.”

Mr Stewart is on the opposite side of the Brexit argument to Mr Johnson. The latter is arguing for a no deal Brexit, something the Cumbrian MP believes would be the worst possible outcome for his constituents.

“What we really do not need for farming is a no deal Brexit,” insisted Mr Stewart. “We need to be able to sell our sheep into the EU.”

It is this passion for farming that is among his reasons for being vocally opposed to Mr Johnson and his no deal Brexit pledge - a position he is determined to stand by.

“I’m very honoured to be in Government,” Mr Stewart admitted. “I love that job; it’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life, but I cannot continue to serve in the cabinet if I don’t agree with the policies I’m advocating for.

“I’d be happy to sacrifice my career in cabinet on a point of principle.”

Mr Stewart also declared that his constituents in Cumbria will benefit if he wins the leadership race.

He said: “If I were lucky enough to be Prime Minister, I would be spending much more time in my constituency and have much more power to deal with the big issues which underlie the county and its stability.

“The connection between Prime Minister and constituency is vital: if you’re stuck in the Westminster bubble you don’t know what’s truly going on.

“The way to solve the biggest risks to Cumbria is by being Prime Minister.”