Rory Stewart: would you trust Boris with the nuclear codes?

Rory Stewart: would you trust Boris with the nuclear codes?
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Rory Stewart has not exactly had the most orthodox of campaign strategies to become the next leader of the Conservative party. The dark horse of the leadership race has built up a cult following by heading out across the country, recording hand-held campaign videos and having conversations with various members of the public. And he decided to continue this trend of unorthodoxy once again today when he officially launched his leadership bid: in a small circus-tent in the Southbank in London.

There, the international development secretary used his launch to put forward his vision for the United Kingdom. But it was Stewart’s view that the frontrunner Boris Johnson could not be trusted with the nuclear codes that garnered the most attention at the launch.

When Stewart was asked if his showmanship today really mattered when Boris Johnson’s launch would take place tomorrow and sweep his pitch aside, Stewart responded by saying that he believed in the Conservative party. He had spoken to Conservative associations across the country, and:

‘when you ask them: “do you really, and I don’t want to make this too personal, but do you really feel that this is the person that you want engaging with the detail of the future of your health and education system? Is this the person that you want writing the instructions to the nuclear submarines?”... I trust Conservative members to arrive at the correct answer.’

It looks like the Tory leadership contest has gone thermonuclear...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsboris johnsonrory stewart