Tory leadership campaign hopeful Rory Stewart heads for Edinburgh

Conservative leadership hopeful Rory Stewart pledged to strengthen the Union
Conservative leadership hopeful Rory Stewart pledged to strengthen the Union
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Conservative leadership hopeful Rory Stewart is to visit Edinburgh tomorrow as part of his campaign to succeed Theresa May.

The MP for Penrith has been one of the surprise stars of the battle to take control of the Tory party, and by extension, the UK Government’s approach to Brexit.

Stewart’s walkabout campaign videos, which see him greet members of the public in town centres across the country, have been widely shared on social media in recent days.

Tomorrow he will meet students at the University of Edinburgh before visiting the Scottish Parliament for a private meeting.

His campaign advisors told The Scotsman that the MP will then be meeting and greeting members of the public across the Capital.

Stewart’s colourful personal life before he entered politics has attracted almost as much attention as his policies. Today, he apologised for smoking opium while travelling in Iran 15 years ago, admitting that it was a “very stupid mistake”.

READ MORE: Tory leadership hopefuls rule out second referendum

The MP, 46, joined the Foreign Office after graduating from Oxford and served as a senior advisor in Iraq following the 2003 invasion by coalition forces.

He is the son of Brian Stewart, a Scottish diplomat, and his family own Broich House, a listed country house near Crieff in Perthshire.

Stewart, an active campaigner for a No vote in 2014, has also expressed his opposition to a second independence referendum.

Following the publication of a Scottish Government bill on Wednesday which could pave the way for an IndyRef2, the Tory leadership candidate said: “In everything we do and everything we say in this leadership race we should remember that the key is to unify the country and not divide the United Kingdom”.

But Nicola Sturgeon warned it would be a “democratic outrage” if Westminster, which has power over the constitution, sought to block a fresh vote on Scotland leaving the UK.

Two of Stewart’s Tory leadership rivals, Matt Hancock and Sajid Javid, have also spoken out against an IndyRef2.