Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart in 'controversy' for smoking opium

PUBLISHED: 10:27 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 30 May 2019

Rory Stewart. Photograph: ITV.

Rory Stewart. Photograph: ITV.

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Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart has apologised for smoking opium in Iran.

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Stewart, who is currently the international development secretary, smoked the class-A drug while in Iran.

When asked about the opium on Sky News, Stewart admitted that it was against the law in the country at the time when he took it.

"I think it was a very stupid mistake and I did it 15 years ago, and I actually went on in Iran to see the damage that opium was doing to communities," Mr Stewart said.

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"I've seen it as a prisons minister. It was something that was very wrong, I made a stupid mistake.

"I was at a wedding in a large community meeting and somebody passed this pipe around the room and I smoked it - I shouldn't have done, I was wrong."

Stewart previously served as a governor in Iraq during the Iraq war.

It comes after Stewart told the Telegraph that the opium "had no effect" on him "because I was walking 25-30 miles a day".

He told the Telegraph: "I was invited into the house, the opium pipe was passed around at a wedding. I thought - this is going be a very strange afternoon to walk - but it may be that the family was so poor they put very little opium in the pipe."

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