Confusion surrounds the fate of South West Herts MP David Gauke, after his own office could not confirm whether he was still a member of the Conservative Party.
Mr Gauke, who has held the seat since 2005, was told by text he had been kicked out of the party on Wednesday evening.
A second message subsequently came through telling him he had not been stripped of his party membership, but was now barred from standing for the party again.
And when Mr Gauke’s office was contacted today to confirm his current affiliation they were unable to confirm if he was still in the party, had been removed, or had resigned.
Mr Gauke’s apparent break with the party came this week when the MP sided with the opposition over a motion blocking a No Deal Brexit.
As reported in this week’s Gazette, Mr Gauke had been forewarned with other rebels that this was likely to mean he was blocked from standing for election again.
Mr Gauke has clashed repeatedly with hardcore Brexiters in recent years, despite consistently backing the government’s repeated efforts to leave the EU with a deal.
He has made numerous references to ‘pink unicorns’ - a sarcastic reference to the promises of some Brexiters’ promises of life after leaving the EU.
He has also said that the party “is in its worst crisis in its history,”