Much to the chagrin of the mainstream media, alleged former MI6 operative and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart is out of the Conservative leadership contest. However, his failure has led one of his supporters - Conservative councillor Charlotte Leach - to reveal a remarkable story about the fallen candidate.
Leach took to Twitter to relay the tale of how Stewart climbed out of a window and pulled off a seemingly impossible climb up to his office, from which he was locked out - in a regular suit and smart shoes, no less.
In September 2015, Leach was working in Parliament for Seema Kennedy - their office was adjacent to Stewart’s on the fifth floor in the Norman Shaw North building, the former headquarters of Scotland Yard converted in the 1970s into offices for 56 MPs. “I’ve honestly never been more shocked in my life,” she says, “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!”
Still, it’s perhaps unsurprising Stewart was capable of the Spidermanesque feat given his background. During his gap year - aged 18 - he was commissioned in the British army’s elite and secretive Black Watch infantry battalion for five months as second lieutenant, and joined the Foreign Office immediately after leaving Oxford University, serving in the British embassy in Indonesia 1997 - 1999. At just 26, he became UK representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo War. Also in 2002 he made a now-famous walk across Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal.
Many have also suggested Stewart was an MI6 operative during this period, an allegation he has strenuously denied on several occasions, although he’s conceded his career progression could "give the appearance" he worked for agency, and acknowledged he couldn't admit to being a spy even if he had been.