Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
Iain Dale presses Rory Stewart on sleeping in spare rooms despite backing Bedroom Tax
12 February 2020, 07:50
Iain Dale asked Rory Stewart how he can ask to stay in the spare rooms of Londoners when he voted six times for the Bedroom Tax to be introduced.
The independent candidate in the London Mayoral Election in May announced yesterday that he wants to sleep for a night in the homes of a wide variety of Londoners to discover the issues that affect their lives.
Mr Stewart told Iain that he sits on the floor in his pyjamas and chats to his hosts - bringing his own sleeping back and even providing a box of chocolates.
But Iain said to him: "Somebody has pointed out that you voted six times for the bedroom tax and yet, you're asking to stay in people's spare rooms.
"Some people are calling that hypocrisy."
But Rory insisted: "It's true that I came into a situation in government where the country was bankrupt after the financial crisis in 2008.
"I'm very open about this - I believed we needed to reduce public spending and there were some difficult decisions there.
"But I think that, firstly, our finances have changed. And I think, one of the reasons that I supported very, very strongly when I was the Prison Minister, I brought more prison officers back on to the landing, support very strongly bringing back more police and I support changes to more investment in transport as I think now is the time we can be spending more money."
Speaking about why he wants to do this, Mr Stewart said: "I often think about London as a place of 700 villages and I need to really understand what's going on in those 700 villages by being with people and experiencing their lives and seeing it through their eyes."
Watch his full interview at the top of the page.