A former Conservative cabinet minister who lost his seat after being expelled insists there is "a yearning for the pragmatic politics of the centre ground".

David Gauke fought as an Independent to remain MP for South West Hertfordshire but received 15,919 votes to Conservative challenger Gagan Mohindra's 30.327.

Read more: David Gauke fails to hold South West Herts seat

In a speech after the results were announced he said: "I was disappointed not to win but the fact that we were able to get a good second place - that nearly 16,000 people voted for me - I think demonstrates that there is a yearning for the pragmatic politics of the centre ground.

"This has been a very good result for the Prime Minister and I congratulate him on that. But there are very significant challenges that lie ahead, not least in terms of our departure from the European Union, that now is now inevitable, but there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that the best interests of the British People are protected.

"I am not quite sure what lies ahead for me but I hope that somehow I can play a role in ensuring that we negotiate the difficult challenges ahead as best we can."

Cllr Mohindra, who until now has represented the Grange Hill Ward on Epping Forest District Council and been responsible for business services, said: "The result across the country shows that the electorate wants the Brexit paralysis to be over, to honour democracy and to move forward with a Conservative majority that is able to get Parliament working again to get things done for you.

"It is a huge privilege and honour to be elected as member of parliament for South West Hertfordshire."