Rory Stewart’s bid to become the next Mayor of London has taken an unusual turn. The former Tory minister has offered to stay on Londoners’ sofas in a bid to learn more about the city.
The campaign #ComeKipWithMe will see Stewart lug his travel bag from flat to flat, bedding down on second-hand settees, crumb-ridden floors and shoebox-sized spare bedrooms across the capital to listen to the concerns of the city.
‘Fixing London’s issues – whether on crime, housing, or our air quality – will not come from issuing press releases or edicts from a distant office building,’ Stewart said. ‘It comes from getting out into communities across the capital, staying with people – listening to their concerns, as well as their ideas for the best solutions.’
His campaign has already taken him to Lorraine Tabone’s abode. Tabone, who runs the charity Lola’s Homeless in east London, hosted Stewart in her one-bedroom Canning Town flat.
The pair spent the night on a tour of Newham and Canning Town to speak to the local homeless community and then went to a Chinese restaurant where, apparently, Stewart ate only boiled rice and paid for the meal. He then bedded down for the night on Tabone’s floor and woke her up at 7am with a coffee in hand ready to talk about issues such as homelessness and knife crime. He was the ‘perfect guest’, Tabone told PA.
Stewart has said that, if elected, he plans to continue to ‘kip’ in Londoners’ homes. We know rental prices are through the roof but surely there must be a better option.
If you fancy having Stewart over at your place sign up here to invite him.
Already got a full house? We spoke to these London housemates about how they make it work.