Rory Stewart quits Tory Party and sets his sights on Mayor of London
Conservative MP Rory Stewart’s public profile was raised enormously during the Tory leadership campaign earlier this year, and there were even moments when it seemed as if he could threaten frontrunner Boris Johnson.
His popularity grew through his measured and sensible personnae, and he appeared to have the support of more centrist Conservatives.
However, with the rise of Boris Johnson, and his campaign strategist Dominic Cummings, the political landscape it seems has become unbearable for the man who represents Penrith and The Border.
Describing the current government’s policies and climate as, “difficult for me” and explaining that he wants to get back to, “real issues.”
Of course, it is no surprise that Stewart is disenfranchised given that he was one of the 21 MPs who had the whip withdrawn in the recent Brexit fracas. However, the usually mind-mannered politician is clearly incensed and even makes comparisons between the current administration and that of the American President.
His statement , "I'm getting away from a politics which makes me sometimes feel as though Trump has never left London,” is pretty damning, although is unlikely to sting Boris at the moment - he has bigger fish to fry.
Clearly an ambitious politician, although Stewart has turned his attention to the mayoral position, while he does have a public profile in his favour, he also has healthy competition to contend with.
The incumbent Mayor, Sadiq Khan, will be standing again and is very popular, and Labour will be quick to point out, en masse, that both Rory Stewart and the official Tory candidate, Shaun Bailey, both supported austerity measures that harmed London’s infrastructure in the past decade.
Certainly Stewart was convincing enough to win over the milder wing of the Conservative Party recently, the so-called one-nation Tories, so he will go into the Mayoral race with some considerable hope, but his chances of unseating Khan in a city that voted to remain in the EU, seems unlikely.
The Mayoral election will be held on 7 May 2020.
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