Lord Heseltine has been fired from his role as a government adviser after rebelling over Brexit in the House of Lords.
The former deputy PM voiced his support for a parliamentary vote on the final deal to be written into Brexit legislation.
Lord Heseltine told the BBC the prime minister was “exercising her perfectly legitimate right to get rid of opposition in any way she finds appropriate”.
“Whether it’s a wise thing to do is a matter for her not for me,” he said.
“I have been hugely proud of the work I have done for David Cameron and now for this prime minister, and if they don’t want me to go on they must sack me.”
He continued: “I did write a newspaper article the other day setting out exactly what I intended to do so I think they could have told me this would be the price but let me make it quite clear; I would still have voted as I did tonight.
“Sometimes in politics there are issues which transcend party politics; in the end you have to be your own person. I believe our interests are intertwined with Europe. I am not prepared to change.
“Every Conservative prime minister I worked for has told me, including this prime minister before the referendum, that we were essentially seeking British self-interest in Europe.
“It’s not perfect but it’s much better than anything that happened before the Second World War.”