innovia and wigton

When I ran last week from parliamentary meetings about the Cumbrian sewage system; to the Olympics; the Forestry Commission; army reforms; and rural planning guidelines, I found myself struggling to keep up with it all. Learning about new policy areas can be bewildering and dispiriting. Officials scatter jargon: yesterday, SME didn’t mean Small and Medium […]

remembrance sunday, 2010

“That at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities … so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance […]

Community Action

the csr and cumbria

At seven o’clock the morning after the spending review, I was on Radio Cumbria with Jamie Reid, the Labour MP from Copeland. Jamie was angry. He predicted disaster. When I said that coalition had committed, unlike Labour, to increasing NHS spending, he snapped, ‘That’s not true. I don’t know how you can sleep at night.’ […]

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Article first published in The Financial Times by Hester Lacey on 22 October 2010. Rory Stewart, 37, left the British Diplomatic Service to walk 6,000 miles from Turkey to Bangladesh. He has served as a coalition deputy governor in Iraq and has lived in Kabul, where he founded a charity. He was elected MP for […]


super-fast broadband for cumbria

I am delighted that Cumbria was one of the surprise beneficiaries of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Among the many cuts announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, was a commitment to invest in bringing Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband to Carlisle and Eden Districts. Cumbria has been selected as the location for one of four NGA […]



On Friday morning I discussed the role of an MP with a roomful of eleven and twelve year olds. A girl from Patterdale suggested I was there to improve rural services. A boy from Skelton focused on the cost of fuel. They explained the difficulty of making a profit in a village shop. And they […]


the crosby mask

First published in The Herald on 18 September 2010. Parliament has begun again: the Prime Minister brought us back for an extra two-week session. A number of my male colleagues have returned on crutches and in plaster casts. I have sat in debates on everything from the constitution (fixed term parliaments) to Equitable Life. I […]

House of Commons Armed Forces

Rory’s speech on the UK armed forces in Afghanistan

Transcript I find this a very powerful, very troubling and very worrying motion. It states: “That this House supports the continued deployment of UK armed forces in Afghanistan.” If one were to remove the word “continued”, there is nobody in this House who would oppose the motion. Every Member, day by day, feels more admiration […]


penrith and the border broadband conference

THE PENRITH AND THE BORDER BROADBAND CONFERENCE  ‘CONNECTING CUMBRIAN COMMUNITIES’ THE PARISH PUMP PROJECT    Penrith and the Border communities are determined to get high-speed Next Generation broadband Access(NGA) for most people and a reliable 2mb connection for everyone by the end of 2012. This is vital for a constituency with a higher proportion of self-employed people than anywhere […]

River Eden

eden river trust walk

I have spent the last two days walking along the Eden. I thought I would experience and remember it as a single flowing stream. But instead it seems many rivers. At Mallerstang below the falls the valley is narrow, with folds and rivulets and short limestone distances that conceal castles. The dark rearing crest of […]