An MP for Penrith and the Border has resigned from his constituency and has now thrown his hat in the race to becoming the next Mayor of London.
Former Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart has announced that he will run for the Mayor of London as an independent candidate
The Eton and Oxford educated Scot served as deputy governor of two provinces in Iraq following the 2003 invasion, and is well known for walking across Afghanistan, documented in his best-selling book The Places in Between.
He previously also served as a minister for Defra with responsibility for flood response, a foreign office minister and prisons minister before being promoted to secretary of state for international development.
In an open letter to Londoners, published in the Evening Standard, Stewart wrote that he was running for mayor to try and eradicate “the suffocating embrace of our dying party politics”.
He said political leaders had “retreated to a madhouse of mutual insults in the Gothic shouting chamber of Westminster, pitting one group against another – rich against poor, London against the rest, Brexit against remain – and all the time getting further and further away from compromise, practical solutions, and the centre ground.
“And this is why I’ve decided to stand, not for a party, but as an independent.”
According to James Morris, the managing director of the consultancy Edelman and a former pollster to Ed Miliband, Sadiq Khan continues to be an overwhelming favourite even today, but Rory's announcement “does shake” up the contest.
The elections for Mayor of London are scheduled in May 2020 and Stewart would contest for the position against Labour Party's Sadiq Khan, Tory candidate, Shaun Bailey, and the Liberal Democrats candidate, Siobhan Benita.