TORY MP Rory Stewart is becoming an internet sensation as he makes an outsider bid to become the next Prime Minister.
But who is he and what is his stance on Brexit? Here’s what we know.
6 Rory Stewart is vying to become the next PMCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Who is Tory MP Rory Stewart?
Rory Stewart was born on January 3, 1973, in British Hong Kong as the son of the diplomat Brian Stewart and his wife Sally Elizabeth Acland Nugent.
He was brought up in Malaysia and Scotland and was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford and Eton College.
Stewart later attended Balliol College at Oxford University, where he read Modern History before switching to Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).
His account of his solo walk across north-central Afghanistan in 2002 detailed in The Places In Between won widespread critical acclaim.
He has served as Tory MP for Pennith and The Border since 2010.
From 2016 to 2018, Stewart served as Minister of State at the Department for International Development and Minister of State for Africa.
In January 2018 he was appointed Minister of State for Prisons.
Under David Cameron’s administration he was a Minister of the Environment.
Following Gavin Williamson’s dismissal from the Government, Mr Stewart took Penny Mordaunt’s Cabinet seat in the Department for International Development when she was made Defence Secretary.
6 Rory shares a passionate kiss with wife ShoshanaCredit: PA:Press Association
Who is his wife?
Rory Stewart married his American wife Shoshana Clark (now Stewart) in 2012, the couple met when they were volunteering at the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan.
They had their first child in November 2014 – a boy named Alexander Wolf Stewart. The couple’s second child was born in 2017.
The Stewart family lives in Dufton, Cumbria.
Rory believes he wouldn’t be able to get to where he is today without his wife.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Stewart said she was his “secret weapon”.
He said: “She organises everything. It’s largely due to her that I’m still running in this race.
“It is an incredible feat of organisation, because we started…from close to nothing three weeks ago.”
Shoshana took time off to support Rory’s campaign and accompanied him on door knocks as he campaigned.
6 Rory married Shoshana in 2012, and the couple went on to have two childrenCredit: Rex Features
What is his stance on Brexit?
Mr Stewart, the International Development Secretary, said it would be “very, very tough” for the UK to be out of the EU by the October 31 deadline.
The possibility of a second European referendum or even a General Election could delay Brexit further, he added, saying the UK could be “stuck in a zombieland where no decisions are being made”.
Mr Stewart told BBC Radio Scotland: “We could be trapped in the European Union in the middle of next year unless Parliament comes to a decision.”
Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, he added: “If there was some easy solution to this we would have left the European Union already.”
He said he believed he could get a Brexit deal through the House of Commons – something Mrs May repeatedly failed to achieve.
But he insisted Parliament “won’t allow” the UK to leave without a formal deal in place, adding Brussels would not allow the deal to be renegotiated.
Persuading MPs to back the existing withdrawal deal is the “only logical position”, he added.
Mr Stewart said: “You’re not going to get a new deal out of Europe and you’re not going to get no-deal through Parliament so the only route is to get a deal through Parliament.
Mr Stewart backed Remain during the 2016 Referendum.
At the time he said he fully respected the result and said: “The decision was made, and we should be energetic and optimistic [about it].”
Since the Withdrawal Agreement was made public, Mr Stewart has supported the PM’s Brexit deal.
He has said many times he wanted “to reach out to Remain voters as well to bring this country together again”.
He told the BBC on May 25 that leaving the EU with No Deal on October 31 would be “damaging and dishonest”.
The ex-diplomat said he would use his skills negotiating in war-torn Iraq and Kosovo to finally settle the political row.
6 No10 hopeful Rory Stewart tries to befriend Downing Street resident Larry the catCredit: Getty Images – Getty
What are his policies?
Mr Stewart, who is undertaking a UK-wide tour called #Rorywalks, says he believes he can “help bring the country together”.
He has already blasted fellow contenders for their pledges on slashing tax, saying they were “making tax cut promises that we can’t keep”.
“We have to think about the next 15 years, not the next 15 days,” he is expected to say.
“We cannot criticise Jeremy Corbyn for reckless spending pledges if we start doing the same ourselves. Cheap electoral bribes could cost us dear. Our members are smarter than that.”
During the campaign, Rory admitted to smoking opium while travelling in Iran, saying he’d made a “very stupid mistake”.
6 Stewart is one of the last five standing to be PMCredit: PA:Press Association
What did he say about Boris Johnson?
Stewart stepped up his attacks on Tory rival Boris Johnson – as he surged in the race to become PM.
The Aid Secretary – previously a rank outsider – has gained momentum in recent days and is now second favourite to win the leadership election.
He has been boosted by several key endorsements in the past 24 hours.
The day before the second round of the leadership election:
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “He’s got to be prepared to talk to the public, communicate and answer the big question which is how he’s going to deliver Brexit.
“I profoundly disagree with his principles, I see no plan here for delivering Brexit.”
Previously, Stewart said he could not serve under a Boris Government if the former Foreign Secretary wins the Tory leadership race.said: “I could not serve in a government whose policy was to push this country into a no-deal Brexit.
“I could not serve with Boris Johnson. I spoke to Boris, I suppose, about two weeks ago about this and I thought at the time he had assured me that he wouldn’t push for a No Deal Brexit.
“So, we had a conversation about 20, 25 minutes and I left the room reassured by him that he wouldn’t do this. But, it now seems that he is coming out for a No Deal Brexit.”
The International Development Secretary then tweeted: “The star name will not always be the best choice. There may be times when Jiminy Cricket would make a better leader than Pinocchio.”
6 The remaining five candidates took part in BBC’s TV debate last night
BOJO BDAY BOOST Boris takes step towards No10 with Raab’s backing as MPs vote for 3rd time BREXT IN LINE Who is left in the race to be Prime Minister after second ballot? NEXT IN LINE Who will be the UK’s next Prime Minister? Latest odds on Tory candidates CommentTHE SUN SAYS The Tory leadership debate made it clear that Rory Stewart has no real plan HAMM IN PICKLE Philip Hammond threatens to resign over PM’s £27bn legacy school spend
What is his Twitter presence?
Mr Stewart made headlines after tweeting about how he’s hit the streets to talk to everyday people about issues that concern them.
He spent a few days in London before heading to Wigan and then Warrington.
Every time he would tweet his exact location and invite people to chat with him.
He would also tweet an image or video of the person who he spoke with to his 130,000 followers.
You can find out where he is @RoryStewartUK.
Remainer Tory Rory Stewart vows to stop a Brexiteer becoming PM and going for No Deal