DORSET MP and vocal no-deal opponent Sir Oliver Letwin is to stand down from his position at the next election, his office has confirmed.

Sir Oliver, a former minister and shadow chancellor, was first elected to Parliament as MP for West Dorset in 1997.

His office confirmed his intention to stand down from the Commons at the next election.

Sir Oliver was behind a series of cross-party moves to block a no-deal departure from the EU this year, and has been critical of Theresa May's government, saying not enough was done to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Sir Oliver has also said he has been involved in cross-party talks going on behind the scenes as MPs from across the House seek to stop the UK from leaving the EU without a deal.

Earlier this week Sir Oliver told the BBC's Today programme he has not ruled out supporting a no-confidence motion to bring down the Tory government to prevent a no-deal.

He said, however, that he would not back it if it led to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM.

He said: "I'm not very inclined to do that if it could possibly be avoided, it's not something I would do under any circumstances in normal life and I'd much prefer to find some other means of getting to a substantive result."

His office said Sir Oliver had previously announced that he would step down at the next election.

They said this is still his position, even if the next election comes earlier than had been previously expected.

Sir Oliver's office said it will not be adding any further comment.

Edward Morello, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for West Dorset, said he has admiration for the MP and that he believes the Conservatives 'seem keen to show Sir Oliver the door'.

He said: "Sir Oliver and I disagree on many things politically but I have nothing but admiration for his common-sense approach to Brexit. He has valiantly fought the worst instincts of his party, both national and locally, and sought to put the best interests of the country first. For that he has the thanks of many British people.

"Even those who may disagree with his politics greatly admire Sir Oliver for everything he has done for West Dorset. As an elected representative he has worked tirelessly for residents, groups, and businesses in the constituency; and continues to do so even now.”

"The Conservative Party will be forever worse off for having lost a politician of his stature, however on behalf of all voters in West Dorset I thank Sir Oliver for his services to the constituency and wish him the best in his future endeavours."