Rory Stewart MP has praised the work of Network Rail in supporting economic growth in Penrith and The Border and across Cumbria, following the announcement of £1 billion of improvements across the North of England. Rory has welcomed the ‘Great North Rail Project’ announcement, which includes a power supply upgrade to the West Coast Main line, […]


Please note that Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, will be holding a drop-in surgery in Penrith’s George Hotel as follows:​ Friday 10th March 18.00 – 19.30, George Hotel, Penrith   No appointment is necessary, and all constituents are welcome. More information can be found at For more information please call 01768 484 114.  


Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart visited YHA Patterdale last week to find out how YHA is working to improve the lives of school children across the country. During his visit Rory met with YHA staff and was given a tour of the hostel which was being redecorated ahead of the next busy summer […]

The Community of Cumbria

Last Friday, I came home on the train, feeling that parliament and even Britain was out of sorts. But twenty separate meetings – starting in Penrith, on to Wigton, and finishing at a memorial service for Mary Burkett in Carlisle – changed my view. First, we broke the foundations for the new Sunbeams Music Centre, […]

Bringing to life better minds

Yesterday, I was asked to explain to school-children what I liked about reading. I found it very difficult to do, without describing particular books. Recently, for example, I came across a book by the British monk Gildas. It caught my eye, on a shelf, when I should have been doing something else. I opened it, […]

On Scale and Economic Growth

Penrith and the Border has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Britain – at last count 572 people were receiving job seekers’ allowance, out of about 65,000 adults in the constituency. We have one of the very highest rates of self-employment, and of people working from home (more than a quarter of our population). […]

Our culture excludes the old when they have so much to contribute

First published in The Observer on 9 November 2013. Parliament talks ceaselessly of “the next generation”. But, in Cumbria, where I’m an MP, voluntary activity and politics are generally driven by people over the age of 55. Every village seems to have a retired engineer attempting to build a community fibre-optic cable network and baffling the most […]


Last weekend I met some charity volunteers in Alston. It was a warm, late summer day – none of the leaves yet falling – and the volunteers were heading cheerfully into the hills. Twenty other groups were setting off at the same moment: all from different points along a route that Alfred Wainwright first walked […]

changing the world from cumbria

Last Sunday I sat with six professors who were discussing how ‘to change the world.’ They included Central European dissident, a computer specialist, and a seventy-five year old French communist.  At times they seemed hardly conscious of each other, and the words they used were puzzling (the Frenchmen for example liked to talk about ‘the happiness of dissatisfaction’). But it […]

In support of dairy farmers

Half a century of pain – with five dairy farms going out of business every week since the Second World War – has terminated in crisis. At least half of all dairy farmers are now being paid less than their cost of production, and will soon be driven – unless something changes – into bankruptcy. […]