A former Tory MP who tried to block Boris Johnson from becoming prime minister has described him as a ‘monstrous figure’.
The ex-diplomat and London mayoral candidate has remained a vocal critic of the PM after leaving politics.
Mr Stewart, who was a Foreign Office minister while Mr Johnson ran the department during the May government, has repeatedly claimed he is not fit for office.
The former Penrith and Borders MP was interviewed for Men’s Health magazine by Alastair Campbell, with whom he hosts a podcast, The Rest Is Politics.
Speaking to the former Downing Street insider, Mr Stewart said: ‘I’ve been having dreams about [Johnson], in which I apologise to him.
‘I feel weirdly sorry for him and guilty about how much I feel I have to attack him.
‘He’s a truly monstrous figure, a figure from a morality tale: his appetites, his lies – it’s all so unreal.
‘But I also feel the tragedy of it, what an awful life he’s leading…I think he finds it impossible to tell the truth.
‘The word ‘bulls******g’ is interesting: a liar is aware of the truth and misleads; a bulls*****r doesn’t mind what the truth is…It must be odd to have nothing you really care about.’
Mr Stewart revealed he went on a meditation retreat after leaving his ministerial role following Mr Johnson’s election as party leader.
He said: ‘I realised just how angry I was with Boris Johnson. I had been suppressing it.
‘When you’re sitting there in total silence, you realise the anger and resentment you feel.
‘For me it was Boris Johnson and a sense of such deep disappointment that people I liked in the Conservative Party had endorsed and backed him.
‘On that second retreat it took me five or six days to concentrate on meditation because I was boiling with rage.
‘I couldn’t quite believe that anyone could think that he could be prime minister.’
The former prisons minister said his desire to be PM himself has ‘mostly gone’ but admitted he would ‘love’ to be foreign secretary.
With his status in the Tory party reduced to persona non grata under the current PM, a return to frontline politics is a remote possibility.
Mr Stewart ruled out switching allegiance to the Labour party in order to achieve his political ambitions, saying: ‘I like Sir Keir Starmer.
‘But if I was to do something for him, it would probably be more as a civil servant than a politician.’
Rory Stewart was speaking to Men’s Health UK ‘Talking Heads’ columnist, Alastair Campbell, in the July/Aug issue of the magazine, on sale from 6th July. Also available as a digital edition.
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