Former Conservative leadership contender Rory Stewart has announced he will stand as an independent candidate in next year’s mayoral election in London.

The Penrith and The Border MP, sitting as an independent after having the Conservative whip removed last month, launched his campaign with a promotional video and a website pledging to listen to the needs of Londoners.

“Over the coming weeks and months I will be walking around London – not campaigning, but listening and learning from you about how can transform this great city together,” he said.

He added that he believes he can bring the energy and compromise needed to lead the capital and see off the challenges the city faces.

Stewart also announced on Twitter this morning that he has resigned as a member of the Conservative Party, and will not stand as an MP at the next general election.

Stewart will be up against incumbent Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, the Green Party’s co-leader Siân Berry, the Liberal Democrat candidate (and 2012 independent candidate) Siobhan Benita, as well as two other independent candidates and the Women’s Equality Party.