GQ: If Conservative leaders were selected on their CV, Rory Stewart would win in a heartbeat
In GQ, Alkan Shenyuz writes that Rory "stands out from the crowd" and highlights his experience and vision for the country.
Here are some highlights from the article:
The reservoir of trust for British politicians is at an all-time low. Any leader brave or foolish enough to step into the fray must have a grasp of the issues that have dumfounded politicians for the last three years, an aptitude for dealing with complex problems and yet manage to appeal to both sides of a bitterly divided country. In fact, he or she must do more. They must heal the country and restore trust. They must rehabilitate our reputation with the outside world and return order to our politics. It is a tall order indeed...
Low profile, reflective and moderate in his political views, Rory Stewart may be the dark horse the country needs. His experiences before entering politics make him close to an enlightened choice for a country desperate for stability and in need of self-respect...
After four years of being in Westminster (he was elected MP for Penrith And The Border in 2010), he contemplated the state of democracy in Britain: “I think British democracy at the moment is really struggling to work... You have to ask yourself what a country that was the first to industrialise, and the first to de-industrialise, does with itself. What is our civilisation? What is our democracy? Who do we want to be?”
By concerning himself with such questions, Stewart stands out from the crowd. He is a moderniser by instinct and has been behind a number of popular initiatives. In 2011, he led the first backbench motion to extend broadband and mobile coverage calling for the mobile phone companies to be forced to provide coverage to 98 per cent of the population. As environment minister he introduced the successful plastic bag tax and proved himself adept at dealing with the logistical problem of flooding in rural areas, putting rapid military deployment effectively at the centre of government emergency planning. As minister for prisons he recruited an extra 2,500 prison officers months ahead of schedule and extolled the virtues of assisting prisoners to use their time to reform. He once mused that he would like to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 100 and create a society which is more transparent, respectful of civil rights and the environment.
Once in a generation a leader comes along who looks like they could rewrite the rules. But it takes a certain type of personality to be capable of achieving this. Rory Stewart defies convention. At the same time, he is both the epitome of an establishment figure and the fabled man of the people. He is earnest yet refreshing. Could Rory Stewart be the prime minister Britain deserves?
Read the full article here.