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Rory Stewart resigns: Former Tory leadership contender announces he will stand down at next election

Rory Stewart resigns: Former Tory leadership contender announces he will stand down at next election

Former Conservative leadership contender Rory Stewart has announced he will stand down at the next election and has resigned from the party.  The ex-international development secretary expressed his “sadness” over his decision to quit as a Tory MP, just three months after he led a surprise bid to lead the party. He tweeted: “It’s been a great

Former Conservative leadership contender Rory Stewart has announced he will stand down at the next election and has resigned from the party. 

The ex-international development secretary expressed his “sadness” over his decision to quit as a Tory MP, just three months after he led a surprise bid to lead the party.

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.” 


Mr Stewart is the second leadership contender to leave the party, after no-deal Brexit rebel Sam Gyimah defected to the Liberal Democrats last month.

The news was branded as the “last rites” for moderate Conservativism under Boris Johnson, and comes in the wake of high-profile resignations by Amber Rudd and Ruth Davidson, the former Scottish Tory leader.

Ms Rudd, a former cabinet minister who also quit the party in protest, led tributes to her former colleague.

She said: “What a loss to politics. An outstanding MP and minister. One of the strongest speakers in parliament. 

“Principled, patient, thoughtful. I feel certain he’ll be back.”

Former Tory MP Nick Boles, who resigned from the Conservatives earlier this year, tweeted: “Last rites are being read for moderate One Nation conservatism. 

“Rory Stewart joins Ruth Davidson, Sam Gyimah, Amber Rudd and many others.

“A sad day for British politics but a personal liberation for Rory who will go on to greater things, no doubt.” 

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