Rory Stewart is getting the hang of being a Conservative politician; he has plainly learned that the first requirement is to lie through your teeth. Form today’s Independent on Sunday:
Once tutor to Princes William and Harry, Rory Stewart, in his latest incarnation as Conservative prospective candidate for Penrith, has found himself the unlikely subject of intrigue. Craig Murray, renegade former ambassador to Uzbekistan, claims in his blog that Stewart worked as an MI6 officer in Afghanistan. While it’s true Stewart was educated at Eton, received training from the British armed forces, and has yet to marry, the comparisons with James Bond appear to end there. “I’ve never met Craig Murray and I have no idea why he is saying this,” he tells me when I call, “It’s not just false but extremely dangerous. I’ve been doing charity work in countries where people are already at risk and his claims will only endanger them further.” Stewart’s father is even more succinct: “It’s bollocks.”
Let me be plain. Rory Stewart was an officer for Torturers’R’Us (formerly trading as MI6).
Now I know many MI6 officers personally and I know the identities of hundreds of them. But I have no intention of “Outing” them and, once retired, I am more than happy for them to tend their roses in Tonbridge Wells in all anonymity. But Stewart has entered politics and, in putting himself forward as a parliamentary candidate, he forfeits his right to conceal his history from the voters.