Rory Stewart once gave an immensely detailed, long and impassioned speech to the Commons about hedgehogs

Andy Gregory
Tuesday 18 June 2019 07:15
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International development secretary Rory Stewart has been wooing voters left and right - perhaps because he's the only Tory leadership candidate who seems to talk a modicum of common sense.

While it is definitely odd that staunch Labour voters are singing the praises a man who has consistently toed the Conservative Party line through years of austerity, there's no denying the self-described "radical centrist" (an oxymoron if we've ever heard one) has a certain charisma.

Just listen to this utterly impassioned 2015 speech he gave in the House of Commons about hedgehogs.

There's a lot to unpack here, but it's worth noting that deputy speaker Eleanor Laing, initially lost for words, described it as "one of the best speeches I have ever heard in this House".

Believing he was speaking about the animal in parliament for the first time since 1556, Mr Stewart went all-out, rhapsodising for nearly 13 minutes straight on the historical, cultural and scientific significance of the hedgehog.

The MP for Penrith and the Border explains how the ancient, "magical" hedgehog has undergone an "extraordinary revolution", citing Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare and Gaelic translations that seem as if they could be spoken off-the-cuff.

He even appeared to make a pointed remark likely pertaining to the looming EU referendum:

Do we want to have as our national symbol an animal which when confronted with danger rolls over into a little ball and puts its spikes up?

People have slowly been re-discovering the clip since Mr Stewart launched his bizarre but well-intentioned leadership campaign.

People are already using it to refute perfectly valid concerns.

“’A self-promoting, self-aggrandising demagogue in the making’, you said?

“…Fine, but hedgehogs.”

Someone's even put the entire 13 minutes to lo-fi hip hop, and it's fairly incredible.

You can thank @chrisshaw420/League of Taste & Class Corp.

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