Rory Stewart was today ribbed for playing “parliamentary Tinder” after sending flattering texts to woo new backers to his campaign.
The International Development Secretary sent messages to MPs backing Sajid Javid minutes after last night’s ballot saw him knock the Home Secretary into fifth place.
The messages all said how proud Mr Stewart would be to have Mr Javid’s backers on his team.
One MP received a message praising their “intellect”. Another was told he shared a “vision” with Mr Stewart.
A source close to Mr Javid’s campaign jokingly likened the approach to those made on dating app Tinder. They said: “It’s as if he’s gone through some sort of parliamentary Tinder, swiping right on all of Saj’s supporters and sent them all a ‘hey, you up?’ message.”
On a WhatsApp group one MP called the messages “amateur” and joked that Mr Stewart “clearly doesn’t admire my intellect!” after seeing the bespoke message sent to another MP.
Another wrote they got a similar message which “included no praise for my intellect ... perhaps he’s a perceptive chap!”
Mr Stewart got 37 votes last night, with Mr Javid on 33. The pair are battling it out to avoid last place in today’s vote which will mean automatic elimination.