The mayoral walks mini-series began in an act of trolling. Rory Stewart launched his campaign to be mayor of London through the unusual strategy of walking all over London and tweeting about it; I have spent large chunks of my life walking all over London and tweeting about it; Twitter at large suggested we combine forces, and maybe turn it into a podcast.
And, once a couple of other candidates had helpfully put the pressure on by offering to go for a walk with me too, Stewart agreed. And suddenly what had started by taking the mick on Twitter because I was bored had become an actual thing.
Alas, when the day finally came we were defeated by London’s famous weather: on the appointed morning, Friday 28 February, it was bucketing down, which isn’t really a good match with the Skylines recording equipment, also known as “my phone”. So instead this podcast was recorded in a cafe in South Kensington.
During its course, I asked Rory why he felt London was crying out for a former Tory Cabinet minister as its independent mayor; why he had chosen to campaign by walking and, more recently, asking to sleep one night a week in other Londoners’ houses; and whether he thinks he really has a hope of defeating Sadiq Khan. All that, and we also chatted about his proposals to sort out the capital’’s housing and transport systems, and Rory ate some porridge, too.