CUMBRIAN MP Rory Stewart has announced he will stand as an Independent candidate to be the next Mayor of London. 

In a video on Twitter, Mr Stewart said he wants to make London a better place, and to make sure that "the very air we breath is clean, that we feel safe in our houses, that we have the right kind of houses and that we challenge division."

The news comes after he announced he will not stand at the next election and has resigned from the Conservative Party earlier this morning. 

The Penrith and the Border MP made it into the top four candidates for the Tory leadership contest earlier this year.

In July, he resigned as International Development Secretary after he said he would not serve in Boris Johnson's cabinet after clashing with him over Brexit.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr Stewart said: "It’s been a great privilege to serve Penrith and The Border for the last ten years, so it is with sadness that I am announcing that I will be standing down at the next election, and that I have also resigned from the Conservative Party."

Writing about his decision, he added "Being your Member of Parliament has been the privilege of my life. So much of what I love about Britain lies in Cumbria: our landscape, our farming communities, our deep history and the character of our people.

"I feel it every time I look out of the window at home in Butterwick. And I have felt it again and again since I first walked right around this constituency as a candidate. When I have thought of England, in my most difficult moments in Afghanistan or Iraq, I have thought of this place."