Rory Stewart Stands Down As MP To Run For Mayor Of London

4 October 2019, 09:06 | Updated: 4 October 2019, 10:50

Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart. Picture: PA

Rory Stewart has announced he is to run as an independent candidate for Mayor of London and will stand down as an MP at the next election.

The MP, who made a splash during the Tory leadership election, revealed he will go up against Mayor Sadiq Khan in the 2020 London Elections.

The Conservative candidate for Mayor is Shaun Bailey.

Speaking about his decision, he said: "It is a city, not just with so much potential, but of course, a city that is now in real danger. Danger from Brexit, from technological change but I think, above all, from what's happened in British politics, to the kind of extremism that is taking over our country.

"This was the most moderate country on Earth. One of the most settled places on Earth, the place that treated people with civility and dignity.

"The reason that I'm going to be running in May to be Mayor of London is that I believe the way to fight back is through this great city, through the traditions of compromise, the energy and diversity of this city and to make it a better place, to make sure that the very air we breathe is clean, that we feel safe in our houses, that we have the right houses, that we challenge division."

Mr Stewart was one of the 21 MPs who had the Conservative whip withdrawn after voting against Boris Johnson's Brexit plans last month.

Earlier, he tweeted: "It’s been a great privilege to serve Penrith and The Border for the last ten years, so it is with sadness that I am announcing that I will be standing down at the next election, and that I have also resigned from the Conservative Party."

- Download now: Full Disclosure With James O'Brien featuring Rory Stewart

He will continue to stand as an independent MP until a General Election.

Earlier this week, he hinted at his departure when he told the House of Commons: "I support a Brexit deal and indeed I voted for it significantly more frequently than my honourable friend.

"But if this great party stands for anything, it stands for respect for parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. My Right Honourable Friend [Boris Johnson] is tip-toeing on to a dangerous path.

"He is pitting Brexit against Remain, young against old, Scotland against England and people against the parliament."

He then told the Prime Minister to start speaking "with respect, with moderation, with compassion for our opponents".