Tory leadership candidate says he has 'not been planning a leadership campaign'
BBC News

It’s always reassuring to know that the Tory MPs standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party – and therefore, our next prime minister – have given the opportunity some careful consideration, and have taken some time to plan out their campaign.

Except one candidate. Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti, has admitted to the BBC he has “not been planning a leadership campaign” – even though he threw his hat into the ring on Sunday evening.

Mr Chisti, who was only appointed a minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office last week amid all that drama, made the revelation to presenter Ben Brown on Monday.

He said: “For me, it’s about being frank with the British public. Yes, many people will have not heard about me, but I think what is important is to set out … what can they [leadership candidates] offer our great country in these challenging, difficult times ahead.

“I’ve not been planning a leadership campaign for a year, or two years, or years. I’ve not been planning a leadership campaign for months – not at all.

“I bring fresh ideas.”

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Good to know you’ve really given this some thought, Rehman!

And unfortunately for him, he’s still facing questions on Twitter as to who he is exactly:

Mr Chishti set out his vision for “aspirational conservatism, fresh ideas [and] a fresh team for a fresh start taking our country forward” on social media last night.

In a Facebook video marred by wind in the microphone, he said: “[A government on your side] means ensuring that you have fresh ideas, and a proven track record of coming to the table with ideas and creativity to help improve people’s lives – and I’ve done that for the past 12 years.

“Our great country is a great country, because of its great people, who believe in resilience, who believe in resourcefulness, and who-“

We don’t know how the rest of that sentence ends, because the video finishes at that point.

Yes, really.

At the time of writing, 11 Tory MPs have confirmed they are standing for Conservative Party leader, with a timetable for the leadership election due to be set out this week.

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