Politics On The Edge
A Memoir From Within
From the former Conservative Cabinet minister and co-presenter of 2022’s breakout hit podcast The Rest is Politics, a searing insider’s account of ten extraordinary years in Parliament
‘What do you think about my becoming an MP?’, I asked.
‘I think that is a very bad idea.’
Nobody expected a move into politics. Certainly not Conservative politics. Least of all Rory Stewart.
Yet, in 2009, Rory found himself considering an unlikely move. David Cameron had reopened the Conservative candidates’ list to ‘anybody who wants to apply’. He decided to stand.
In the ten years that followed, Rory was returned as the MP for Penrith and The Border, navigated the Brexit referendum from within the Palace of Westminster, churned through a merry-go-round of short-lived ministerial positions, and failed to claim the Conservative leadership crown. He was a political outsider on the inside during a defining decade in British political history – years when he was witness to, and railed against, the hollowing out of our political institutions, leadership, parties and policy.Over the course of a decade from 2010, Rory Stewart went from being a political outsider to standing for prime minister – before being sacked from a Conservative Party that he had come to barely recognise.
Tackling ministerial briefs on flood response and prison violence, engaging with conflict and poverty abroad as a foreign minister, and Brexit as a Cabinet minister, Stewart learned first-hand how profoundly hollow and inadequate our democracy and government had become. Cronyism, ignorance and sheer incompetence ran rampant. Around him, individual politicians laid the foundations for the political and economic chaos of today.
Stewart emerged battered but with a profound affection for his constituency of Penrith and the Border, and a deep direct insight into the era of populism and global conflict.
Politics On the Edge invites us into the mind of one of the most interesting actors on the British political stage. Uncompromising, candid and darkly humorous, this is his story of the challenges, absurdities and realities of political life; a new classic of political memoir and a remarkable portrait of our age.
Hardback; 240 x 156mm