Could Rory Stewart be next Mayor of London ?

Tuesday 11th February 2020
Rory Stewart

In many ways, the UK is settling down from a period of political turbulence, much in the same way that it is mopping up after Storm Ciara. Brexit dominated the political landscape for four years, with a new headline every day - if not every hour - until a certain amount of calm was restored when Johnson won an 80 seat majority in December and passed The Withdrawal Agreement through parliament.

However, those victim to the recent turbulence have been busy re-strategising, not least the Labour Party, and are ready for a new launch.

One of those, who was buffeted by Storm Brexit was Tory MP Rory Stewart, who competed against Johnson for the Tory leadership, but failed.

He gained a lot of publicity during his leadership campaign, particularly for his measured and, in many ways humble personna,  ( unexpected for a military man), but he failed to win the party’s backing, so subsequently stood down from his Penrith and the Borders constituency.

He has now put himself forward to be Mayor of London in the upcoming election in May and many are giving him a real chance of success.

Currently Sadiq Khan is in situ in the post and appears to have the support of many Londoners.

As a whole the capital was anti-Brexit and Khan was certainly in the same camp.

However, Rory Stewart, while not a Brexiteer, was always keen to take a middle path, advocating a policy that would accommodate all sides and would keep the economy on track.

It has been argued by commentators that the mayoralty is not so much about party politics as about personalties, underlined by the fact that Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone have both enjoyed the post.

Mavericks it seems are welcome in London and Stewart could certainly fit into this category.

Should he win, Johnson will not be expecting any support from him. In fact, he may well be a thorn in the PM’s side.

He will stand as an anti-politician’s politician, a populist stance which is gathering momentum globally and with the support of George Osbourne at The Evening Standard, he could surprise a lot of people in May.

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