Telegraph: Rory Stewart is “the leadership candidate whose campaign has confounded even his own expectations”

Edward Malnick writes in the Sunday Telegraph that Rory Stewart is the “the leadership candidate whose campaign has confounded even his own expectations,” highlighting the momentum that has built behind the campaign:

The campaign, which has seen Mr Stewart walking the streets to increase his profile, has propelled the 46-year-old MP to social media stardom and second place to Boris Johnson in the latest poll of Tory members…

[O]n Thursday he defied his detractors by gaining 19 votes in the first round of the Tory leadership contest, earning him a place in the second round and leaving three more experienced former Cabinet ministers, who did not make the cut, in his wake…

Getting out of Westminster to speak to members of the public was part of Mr Stewart's strategy to ultimately win over MPs.

"I took a risk, which was to go out and start talking to people and, in a sense, take the risk of proving to members of parliament that it's possible to reach out to the public and to make a Conservative message very popular.”

Following Thursday's vote, when Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper were all ousted from the contest, Mr Stewart senses a new momentum.

"I'm certainly now beginning to get many more texts, many more calls from MPs, many more people saying everything from 'dear boy, how very interesting, well done' through to, 'can I come and talk?'...

"So we're just beginning now to get momentum, and we'll see, we'll see."

Read the full article here.

Rory Stewart