Rory Stewart

  1. Stewart: Ministers should have challenged science sooner

    The former Cumbrian MP Rory Stewart has backed some scientists in saying that Britain moved too late to reduce the coronavirus infection rates in March.

    Ministers are continuing to insist that it's too early to make judgements about the UK's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, after a former government adviser, Professor Neil Ferguson, said that if the country had been locked down a week earlier, the number of deaths could have been halved.

    Rory Stewart started calling for a lockdown in late February and says ministers could have done things differently.

    Rory Stewart
    Quote Message: The tendency in government is always to ask for more information, always to move more slowly than you might, particularly in a difficult and uncertain situation.
    Quote Message: So I think that it's right that they did follow the scientific advice but it's also true I believe that from the end of February they should have been challenging it harder on the basis of what they could see was happening elsewhere in the world." from Rory Stewart
    Rory Stewart
  2. Rory Stewart pulls out of delayed London mayor contest

    Rory Stewart
    Image caption: Rory Stewart has pulled out of the race to be mayor of London

    Former Conservative cabinet minister Rory Stewart has pulled out of the race to be mayor of London citing the difficulty of running as an independent candidate after the contest was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a statement on Twitter, Stewart said while the "considerable challenges" of running as an independent candidate were "manageable for a normal race", they were "forbidding for an extended and delayed election".

    He added it would have been the "honour of his life" to serve London as mayor and praised the city's "courageous" response to Covid-19.

    The election was originally due to be held on Thursday.

  3. Cumbrian politician nominated for an award for being polite

    Belinda Artingstoll

    BBC Cumbria Live

    A former Cumbrian MP is on the shortlist for a Civility in Politics award.

    Rory Stewart - a former government minister, and MP for Penrith and the Border - is now an independent, and hoping to be the next London Mayor.

    Stewart Wood, the award's co-founder and judge, says: "Rory Stewart was nominated by quite a few people including some who don't agree with his politics. He was always civil in the way he made the argument - tried to focus on the points rather than saying we disagree with the other camp."

    Rory Stewart
  4. How county's MPs voted in 'early election' debate

    In yesterday's vote to trigger an early election, four of Cumbria's MPs voted in favour.

    They were the county's two Conservative MPs and two independent MPs,Trudy Harrison for Copeland, John Stevenson for Carlisle, Rory Stewart for Penrith and the Border and John Woodcock in Barrow and Furness.

    The Liberal Democrat for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, voted against a 12 December election and Labour's Sue Hayman who represents Workington, didn't vote.

    Houses of Parliament
  5. Video content

    Video caption: Rory Stewart: Political parties becoming 'more extreme'

    The ex-Tory leadership hopeful outlines why he is standing as an independent candidate for London mayor.

  6. Rory's 'moderate' pitch for mayor: All we need is love

    Announcing he would go in one step from MP for one of England's most rural constituencies, to running as mayor for its capital city, Rory Stewart said he would base his campaign on traditional moderate politics.

    He said extremist politics was a greater danger to London than Brexit or technological change.

    Quote Message: This was the most moderate country on Earth, one of the most settled places on Earth, the place that treated people with civility and dignity."
    Rory Stewart

    Mr Stewart, who walked all over his Cumbrian constituency and fought for the Conservative Party leadership by walking in many parts of the country, said he would launch his campaign in the city by walking through every borough, showing that the way to improve it was "through love".

    Quote Message: Love not as a lazy compromise, but as something painful, something difficult, something risky about changing the world together."
  7. Why Stewart's departure meant 'hold the front page'

    Martin Lewes


    The Penrith-based weekly paper, the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, had to delay the printing presses at the last minute as the story of its local MP Rory Stewart not running for Parliament, but standing for election as Mayor of London, developed this morning.

    Cumberland Herald office in Penrith

    The Penrith and the Border MP had told the local newspaper he was going, but not what his next step was, and staff only found out he was running for office in the capital with five minutes to go before the presses were due to roll.

    The switch wasn't thrown, the front page was quickly remade, and the paper will include the news when it hits the streets tomorrow morning.

    This was a relief for the editor, Emily Atherton, who was at the end of her first week in the job as the first woman editor of the newspaper in 159 years.

    Quote Message: It's been a heck of a first week, is all I can say!" from Emily Atherton
    Emily Atherton
  8. Stewart's pitch for London Mayor goes viral

    Martin Lewes


    A footnote perhaps, but Rory Stewart's short video announcing he would run for the office of London Mayor attracted more than 1,000 comments and 1,000 retweets within an hour of being posted.

    They ranged, as you can imagine, from the effusive to the obscene, so if you want to sample the variety, click on the link above.

  9. MP gets a thank you and best wishes from the party

    The Conservative Party has given its formal farewell to Rory Stewart, who would not have been allowed to stand again for the party for Penrith and the Border, and who has confirmed he will not contest the seat as an Independent at the next election.

    A party spokesperson said: “We would like to thank Rory for his hard work and wish him all the best for the future. We will be selecting our parliamentary candidate for Penrith and the Border in due course.”

  10. Video content

    Video caption: Rory Stewart reads Boris Johnson's school report to resign from Tory party

    At the Letters Live 2019 event in London, Rory Stewart appeared on stage to read a letter sent from the house master at Eton, Martin Hammond, to Boris Johnson's father, Stanley.

  11. Carlisle's MP pays tribute to 'eloquent' Rory Stewart

    The Conservative MP John Stevenson, Rory Stewart's constituency neighbour in Carlisle, has paid tribute to the Penrith and the Border MP.

    Mr Stewart is quitting as an MP to run for London mayor as an independent candidate.

    Speaking on BBC Radio Cumbria, Mr Stevenson (pictured) described Mr Stewart as "an incredibly able individual", and "very eloquent".

    Quote Message: I wish Rory the very best." from John Stevenson MP for Carlisle
    John StevensonMP for Carlisle
    John Stevenson
  12. Rory Stewart to run for Mayor of London

    View more on twitter

    Former Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart is going to stand as an independent candidate to be Mayor of London.

    The former International Development Secretary quit the Tory Party on Friday morning and announced his intention to stand down at the next general election.

    The Penrith and The Border MP was among the 21 rebels who had the whip removed by Boris Johnson when he defied him in the Commons by backing a move designed to block a no-deal Brexit.

    In June he ran against Mr Johnson in the race to lead his party.

    Mr Stewart says he plans to walk through every borough of London before London's mayoral election in 2020.

    He will run against the current Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Shaun Bailey the Conservative candidate, the Liberal Democrats Siobhan Benita and Green Party leader Sian Berry.

    In an announcement this morning Mr Stewart said London is "a city in real danger".

    "Danger from Brexit, from technological change but I think, above all, from what's happened in British Politics. The kind of extremism that is taking over country."

  13. BreakingRory Stewart to run for London mayor

    Rory Stewart announced this morning he was standing down as Penrith and The Border MP and now says he will run for London mayor.

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  14. Social networks react to Rory Stewart announcement

    Rory Stewart's announcement that he will not run again for the Parliamentary seat of Penrith and the Border has gained some predictable reactions, and he was trending on Twitter within a few minutes of the news this morning.

    Here's a selection:

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  15. Rory Stewart: My sadness and pride

    Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart has said he will be standing down at the next general election.

    In a lengthy statement, he speaks of his love for the area and his pride in the work he's been able to do.

    Quote Message: So much of what I love about Britain lies in Cumbria: our landscape, our farming communities, our deep history and the character of our people.
    Quote Message: What I will remember most is simply being with people, listening, learning and focusing on individual problems – helping people face and sometimes overcome the many smaller absurdities and injustices inflicted by government: late farm payments, pension issues, planning and parking." from Rory Stewart
    Rory Stewart

    The statement says that he will not run as an Independent because he did not want to run against Conservatives "who have been such wonderful colleagues over the last 10 years."

    Quote Message: I am hugely grateful to all the members of my local party who have written in support, and to the chair and president of my local party, who have resigned from the Conservative Party in support of my position.
    Quote Message: I don’t want to test loyalties, destroy old friendships or push any of these issues any further. There is enough toxic division in British politics without importing it into Cumbria!"
  16. MP Stewart confirms that he will not run again for Penrith

    Rory Stewart has confirmed he will not run for the Penrith and the Border seat, even as an Independent, after he was told he would not be allowed to stand again as a Conservative.

    Writing in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, Mr Stewart said he was also resigning from the Conservative Party, and "hoped to start work in another part of the country".

    Rory Stewart
    Quote Message: As for the future – I am a public servant to my core and will stay involved in politics, endeavouring to make my voice heard." from Rory Stewart
    Rory Stewart
    Quote Message: I would like, if you will allow me, to remain closely involved with Cumbria – as a champion, supporting local charities and communities – not as your Member of Parliament, but I hope as your friend."
  17. Rory Stewart reacts to judgement with new call for vote

    The Penrith and the Border Conservative MP Rory Stewart was the first MP from the county to give his view on the Supreme Court decision this morning that the suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

    View more on twitter

    The second to give his views was the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron, who called for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to resign.