12 of the most bizarre things to happen in the Tory leadership contest so far

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Thursday 27 June 2019 07:45
Picture:(AP Images)

It's been an eventful few months as the Conservative party voted again and again on who they think is the best to lead the UK through Brexit.

All but two have fallen away: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will go head-to-head on 22 July, when Tory members will vote for the new leader of the party, and country.

It's also been a weird leadership contest.

Here's 12 reasons why:

1. Dominic Raab’s turn to camera

Dominic Raab’s announcement to run in the leadership contest didn’t surprise anyone – but his campaign video, which included a bizarre turn to camera, did.

Needless to say, the ex- Brexit secretary was mercilessly mocked.

2. Anything Matt Hancock said

The current health secretary's leadership speech didn't really impress.

Nearly everything he said was pure gold as if taken straight from the mouth of Alan Patridge.

3. Rory Stewart, ad nauseam

From admitting to having smoked opium in Iran at a wedding one time, to climbing out of a fifth floor window and scaling a building to his life being the subject of a movie bought by Brad Pitt, he was an unusual addition to the Tory leadership contest.

4. Also Rory Stewart: How he was seated during the televised debate, and the neck thing


5. Jeremy Hunt's surname debacle

In an unfortunate turn of events that would come to haunt Jeremy Hunt for the duration of the leadership contest, Victoria Derbyshire accidentally dropped the c-bomb when pronouncing Hunt’s name.

This prompted news articles to be written; memes to be made and jokes to be had – all at the former health secretary’s expense.

6. Esther McVey's fixation with preventing children from learning about LGBT+ relationships

Esther McVey, the Conservative leadership candidate, sparked condemnation after saying parents should be free to stop their children learning about LGBT+ relationships in schools.

The former work and pensions secretary argued that “parents know best for their children” and claimed it was “down to them” if they wanted to withdraw children from sex and relationship education.

7. The time Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson became the 'Backstop Boys'

Carmella from Southampton was on a video call and asked the likes of Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Rory Stewart and Michael Gove about a no-deal Brexit during the live TV debate.

She said: "As a mother of three with a husband in the property industry, if we have a no-deal my husband could lose his job and my children face an uncertain future - why are you even contemplating a no-deal Brexit?"

Following responses from the leadership hopefuls, Carmella responded:

I'm not reassured at all I'm really concerned about the future for my children I have one working in the city, I have one training to be a vet, and I have one preparing to go to university. I'm worried about the future and I'm worried about my husband's job.

In a string of random revelations, perhaps in an attempt to make them appear more human to the general public, a number of Tory leadership candidates admitted taking illegal drugs in the past.

It started with Michael Gove, who admitted he dabbled in taking the Class A drug cocaine over a decade ago as a young journalist.

Jeremy Hunt admitted to drinking a cannabis lassi while backpacking across India, Rory Stewart apologised for smoking opium in Iran while travelling over a decade ago, and both Matt Hancock and Esther McVey admit to smoking cannabis at university.

10. Jeremy Hunt’s “one Boris sized duck or 100 duck sized Boris” tweet

Jeremy Hunt is really going in on the pop culture interaction, and he recently answered a question posed by a Twitter user:

#BoJoNoShow: Would you rather fight one Boris sized duck or 100 duck sized Boris'?

11. Boris evoking his great grandad as a way of avoiding a straight answer about his alleged Islamophobia

Johnson was heavily criticised after many felt he hadn’t properly addressed a question about the consequences of calling Muslim women wearing burkas look like “letter boxes.”

Instead he launched into a monologue about his Muslim great grandfather.

Yes of course and insofar as my words have given offence over the last 20 or 30 years when I’ve been a journalist and people have taken those words out of my articles and escalated them.

Of course I’m sorry for the offence that they have caused.

And then he evoked his Muslim great grandfather.

But I would just say this to our friend from Bristol: When my Muslim great grandfather came to this country in fear of his life in 1912, he did so because he knew it was a place that was a beacon of generosity and openness and a willingness to welcome people from around the world.

And if I am prime minister I will ensure that that is the way our country acts and behaves. 

In an interview with Ross Kempsell on TalkRADIO that left viewers thoroughly confused, Johnson revealed that he likes to relax by "making model buses out of wine boxes."

I, well, I like to... paint. Or I make things. I like to... I make, I have a thing where I make models of, when I was mayor of London we built a beautiful - I make buses.

I make models of buses. So what I do, no, I don't make models of buses, what I do is I get old - I don't know - wooden crates... Right? And then I paint them.

And they, they have - suppose it's a box that's been used to contain two wine bottles, right? And it will have a dividing thing.

And I turn it into a bus. And so I put passengers - you want to know this? ...No, I paint the passengers enjoying themselves. 

More: JK Rowling criticised for following a 'famous transphobe' on Twitter

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