North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said he is ready for a general election after a whirlwind return to Parliament last week.

A general election is all but a certainty before the end of the year after a week in the House of Commons which saw MPs attempting to pass a new law forbidding a no-deal Brexit after seizing control of Parliament.

That was made possible after 21 rebel Conservative MPs defied orders from Prime Minster Boris Johnson to block the movement. Those MPs - including David Gauke, Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames - were effectively expelled from the Conservatives after having their party whip withdrawn.

Mr Heaton-Jones, who served as a parliamentary private secretary to Mr Gauke for two years, said he hoped the measure was only a temporary one.

"The sad fact was this was a matter of confidence in the Government," said Mr Heaton-Jones.

"It was made very clear that voting for the legislation would mean they were breaking the whip and breaking their loyalty to the party, so they have been suspended.

"I hope that's a temporary measure because I think the Conservative Party needs people like David Gauke and Ken Clarke and Nicholas Soames within it, and so I hope they can be back in the fold really quickly."

When asked by the Gazette if he would be happy to see no-deal Brexit taken off the table by MPs, Mr Heaton-Jones said: "I voted three times for a deal to make sure we don't crash out without a deal.

He added: "The most effective way to make sure we don't leave with no deal is vote for a deal and that's what I have done three times and will continue to do so at every opportunity."

Mr Heaton-Jones added: "Regrettably I think we are heading towards another general election, probably sooner rather than later, but if that's what it takes to deliver what the people of North Devon and the country as a whole told us what they wanted, then that's what we'll have to do.

"We are always ready for a general election in North Devon to ask the people what they think.

"In 2015 and 2017 we fought and won general elections in North Devon and I'm looking forward to making it three in a row."