By Chris York
It’s just over 24 hours since former Tory minister and London mayor hopeful Rory Stewart launched what he himself admitted was a “weird” idea – staying the night in your house and having a little chat over some chocolate.
It’s all part of his attempt to “get to know the city” and by his own account it’s been incredibly successful with over 1,000 people getting in touch.
And while you may think that’s a lot of sleepovers in stranger’s houses, it turns out he’s had a lot of practice already.
He told PA Media: “I’ve stayed in over 550 people’s houses in total, not just in London. […] I am quite used to turning up at people’s houses and sleeping on their floors.
“I’ve slept in houses in central Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. I’m not too worried about staying in people’s houses in London.”
What’s perhaps even more admirable is how he’s dealt with the barrage of jokes at his expense – turns out he’s quite the wit.
So sorry. Thought you were still asleep. https://t.co/pJ6AvaJTnp
— Rory Stewart (@RoryStewartUK) February 12, 2020
I have eaten
the fish cakes
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so hot https://t.co/CPafiiyrB3
— Rory Stewart (@RoryStewartUK) February 11, 2020
And spare a thought for this chap who doesn’t seem to be aware of the job Stewart is running for…
Asked about the vetting process for potential hosts, he said he was “not too worried.
“I do ask a member of my staff to go round and say hello and introduce themselves and check people are happy.”
Stewart said he hoped to meet people who were “willing to open up and be frank about their life and their challenges” and give a “decent sense of what it is that they’re really thinking about and worrying about”.
He said that he had spoken to hosts about their problems but also “cheerful things” like going to see musicals in London.
On the mayoral race itself he remained “realistic” but was confident he could beat frontrunner Sadiq Khan.