Stewart: More than 1,000 Londoners have invited me to stay over

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Rory Stewart has told Sky News he has received more than 1,000 requests from Londoners for him to stay in their homes.

The independent mayoral candidate revealed the unusual campaign on Twitter on Tuesday, accompanied by the hashtag #ComeKipWithMe.

Mr Stewart, a former Conservative cabinet minister and MP, said it will allow him to “get to know the city” as he bids to cause a political upset and remove Labour’s Sadiq Khan from City Hall.

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In a video posted on his Twitter account he promised to “bring a sleeping bag, and a box of chocolate” for his hosts.

Some cracked jokes and mocked Mr Stewart’s unorthodox campaign, but he said the response has been positive.

“So far we’ve got over 1,000 requests coming in. Very very serious, thoughtful requests,” he told Kay Burley@Breakfast.

“People often saying ‘come and see problems about safety and security, people don’t feel safe enough.

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“Or about housing. My housing isn’t affordable enough or it’s not good enough.

“I now have to go, with my teams, through nearly a thousand requests and make sure that we have a good variety of people.”

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Mr Stewart added that he would try and maintain the practice if he upsets the odds and wins May’s election.

“If I’m lucky enough to be mayor, I’d try to do this every week and make sure I do this as the mayor,” he continued.

“So that every week as mayor I’m in a different borough, staying with people, listening with people, getting out from behind the desk at City Hall and sharing people’s lives.”

Mr Stewart, who ran for the Tory leadership last summer, has wasted no time in putting his campaign into action.

A 50-year-old charity worker has already hosted Mr Stewart – at her one-bedroom flat in Canning Town.

“He slept on the floor because I have no furniture at the moment,” Lorraine Tabone, who runs Lola’s Homeless in east London, told the Press Association.

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“He woke me up with a coffee about 7am and we spoke about issues – homelessness, knife crime, everything.

“Because it was all spontaneous and my oven was broken I couldn’t cook breakfast. I just gave him a couple of Alpine bars for his travels.

“We had a cup of tea and then they left. They gave me a lovely bunch of tulips.

“He was the perfect guest, a perfect gentleman.”

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Ms Tabone said she offered to host Mr Stewart to raise awareness of her charity, which she said is in “desperate” need of funding and a building to host its services.

She said she took him on a tour of Newham and Canning Town the night before, to speak to members of the homeless community.

They then went out for a Chinese meal.

“He paid, and he only had boiled rice – I had the duck,” she said.

Rory Stewart on #ComeKipWithMe campaign: More than 1,000 Londoners have invited me to stay

Rory Stewart has told Sky News he has received more than 1,000 requests from Londoners for him to stay in their homes. The independent mayoral candidate revealed the unusual campaign on Twitter on Tuesday, accompanied by the hashtag #ComeKipWithMe.

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