Rory Stewart claims he’s slept in more than 500 strangers’ homes

Former Tory MP Rory Stewart in Ilford in east London. Photograph: PA Wire/PA Images.

Former Tory MP Rory Stewart in Ilford in east London. Photograph: PA Wire/PA Images. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Rory Stewart said he has previously slept in more than 500 strangers' homes, as he continues to promote his #comekipwithme campaign.

As part of his bid to become mayor of London, the former Tory MP has asked members of the public from the 32 boroughs if he can join them overnight to "get to know the city".

Stewart said that over 1,000 people had written to him in the 24 hours since launching the campaign, inviting him to stay.

"It's quite a business going through a thousand offers," he told the PA news agency.

"I try to focus on people who are in particular need, so try to get people with particular problems they want me to see."

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The mayoral hopeful said that he did not find the visits awkward but was uncertain whether he was a "good house guest".

"I've stayed in over 550 people's houses in total, not just in London... I am quite used to turning up at people's houses and sleeping on their floors.

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"My wife says that I don't snore too much, but then she's very polite.

"It's difficult to know how much I snore."

The campaign has received a mixed response online, with some people making jokes about the former cabinet minister staying at their homes.

Asked about the vetting process for potential hosts, he said he was "not too worried.

"I do ask a member of my staff to go round and say hello and introduce themselves and check people are happy.

"I've slept in houses in central Afghanistan Iran and Pakistan, I'm not too worried about staying in people's houses in London."

The independent candidate added that the campaign was "very doable", even with his wife and two children, aged five and two.

"Many people in London spend nights away from their family," he said.

"Many people sadly have to commute even further, a weekly commute for work so I think being out of the house for one night a week in another borough in London staying with someone is something that I owe to people in London.

"I think it will work well with a family."

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