Tory Councillor Charlotte Leach was mourning his elimination when she decided to regale Twitter with an anecdote about the time he climbed out of a window and scaled a seemingly impossible building back in September 2015.
She began: “He’s not an MP I know particularly well but I do have a great story from when I worked in Parliament for Seema Kennedy. Our office was next door to Rory’s on the 5th floor in Norman Shaw North.”
The Mobberley Ward councillor continued...
One evening I was working late in the office on my own. There was a knock on the door & it was @RoryStewartUK who told me that he had locked himself out of his office and and asked if he could use our office for a meeting.— Councillor Charlotte Leach (@CharLeach24x) June 19, 2019
I said it was no problem but before I had a chance to say anything else he walked straight across the office and climbed out of the 5th floor window and disappeared.— Councillor Charlotte Leach (@CharLeach24x) June 19, 2019
At this point I panicked thinking that surely he must have fallen and what if people thought I had pushed him 😂— Councillor Charlotte Leach (@CharLeach24x) June 19, 2019
Then, before I know it he comes walking back into my office through the main door, picks up his stuff and leaves. He had somehow managed to scale the side of the building and break into his office through the window.— Councillor Charlotte Leach (@CharLeach24x) June 19, 2019
I have honestly never been more shocked in my life. Looking out of the window there was essentially nothing to hold onto so to this day I have no idea how he managed to do it but I was suitably impressed! #RoryWalksOn— Councillor Charlotte Leach (@CharLeach24x) June 19, 2019
To appreciate just what a feat this would have been, this is the Norman Shaw North building – there is indeed very little for anyone to grab onto.
Stewart has been contacted for comment over the anecdote. Leach has insisted her recollection is accurate.
Speaking to HuffPost UK on Thursday morning, she described the very real sense of panic she had at the time, saying: “When he climbed out I was like ‘oh my God, what if he’s died?’
“And then I thought ‘what if people think I’ve killed him?’ I just panicked. Then I just sat there for a few minutes thinking ‘I do not know what’s happened’.”
Leach also confirmed Stewart was wearing a regular suit and smart shoes, making the feat even more impressive.
Of all the Tory leadership hopefuls, Stewart is possibly the most likely – and most capable – to perform such a feat, having adventured his way across Afghanistan, Libya and numerous other countries where your chances of having to make a dramatic escape from a building are quite high.
But alas, Stewart’s insurgent campaign for the Tory leadership has come to an end after he was eliminated in the third round of the contest on Thursday.
The underdog candidate who has captured the imagination of many with his unorthodox campaign was leapfrogged by Sajid Javid and found himself in last place after the third round of MPs’ votes.
Boris Johnson was again way out in front and looks certain to be one of the two candidates who will face a vote by 160,000 Tory members to choose the next prime minister.
Jeremy Hunt held on to second place and will take on Michael Gove and Javid *for second place* in the last two rounds of MPs’ votes on Thursday as the battle to stop Johnson intensified.