When Rory Stewart declared his candidacy for the London mayor, there was some concern in CCHQ that the former Conservative MP could eat into Tory candidate Shaun Bailey’s vote share. Stewart has been keen to pitch himself as an outward looking politician in touch with modern Britain. While there’s still some way to go to polling night, the initial signs suggest that Stewart’s own efforts will be no walk in the park.
Stewart has found himself under criticism after he described three East London men he met back when he was campaigning to be the next leader of the Conservatives as ‘minor gangsters’.
Stewart attempted to speak to the group as part of his trademark campaigning walks. However, the three men were not particularly interested. Discussing the incident at an event in Westminster this week, Stewart said:
‘One thing about social media is that it allows people to see politicians listening … I can go to Brick Lane and three sort of minor gangsters can come up to me and spend a minute telling me I’m an idiot. And I can film it on my phone and put it up. And people love watching people being rude to politicians.’
One of the men has since responded to being described as a ‘minor gangster’:
Mr S suspects that’s a description best left off the campaign leaflets…