Westminster reels from Michael Gove's drug revelations - but what Rory Stewart did with a cactus will shock you

Written by Total Politics Staff on 10 June 2019 in Diary

The Tory leadership race has quickly descended into a battle to find out who has the biggest rap sheet - but Rory Stewart may have just beaten the lot.

Michael Gove spent the weekend firmly on the backfoot after a new book revealed he had a history of cocaine use - and his entry in ConservativeHome's latest series of questions for the runners-and-riders is suitably contrite.

Asked what the naughtiest thing he's ever done is, Mr Gove somberly states: "I took drugs on several occasions at social occasions more than 20 years ago. It is something I deeply regret. Drugs damage lives. They are dangerous and it was a mistake."

Ever the joker, Tory rival Boris Johnson meahwhile makes scant mention of his own, erm, complicated personal life as he quips: "My sister and I once filled a row of gumboots with water. We were soundly thrashed. I may have done naughtier things but they have momentarily escaped me."

It came as squeaky-clean Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told hacks at his own campaign launch that he had never committed a criminal act. "I'm just really racking my brain at the moment but the answer is no," he said, in what amounts to a reassuring comment in 2019.

But leave it to social media sensation Rory Stewart to come up with the most eye-catching past crime (now that he's got a round of opium smoking out in the open, anyway).

The International Development Secretary reveals: "My mother would probably say that when I was nine, against her instructions, I sat on a cactus and she had to spend the next hour picking prickles out of my back side."

Talk about a spiky intervention...

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