Tory leadership candidates reveal 'naughtiest thing' they've done

Rory Stewart said sitting on a cactus was the "naughtiest thing" he did

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Conservative leadership race is now officially in full swing.

The eleven candidates will need the support of eight of their colleagues in order to stay in the contest, and on Thursday, will require a total of 16 backers to progress.

When asked what the "naughtiest thing she had ever done was", current Prime Minister Theresa May answered: "Running through fields of wheat."

Here's what the leadership hopefuls said when asked the same question by political blog, Conservative Home.


Michael Gove

The environment secretary said taking drugs on "several occasions" was his "naughtiest" act.

News of his cocaine use emerged over the weekend, with a string of fellow contenders following suit and admitting to their past drug use.

"I took drugs on several occasions at social occasions more than 20 years ago. It is something I deeply regret. Drugs damage lives. They are dangerous and it was a mistake," Gove said.


Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart had a surprising answer involving a cactus.

"My mother would probably say that when I was nine, against her instructions, I sat on a cactus and she had to spend the next hour picking prickles out of my back side," he said.

Mr Stewart revealed in May that he had once smoked opium during a trip to Iran 15 years ago. He says it was a "stupid mistake".


Dominic Raab

Mr Raab refused to answer, simply saying: "I’m not confessing to that."


Andrea Leadsom

Ms Leadsom made it to the final two in the last leadership contest, bowing out so Theresa May could become leader. She has also confessed to smoking marijuana at university.

But her "naughtiest" moment, she says, was ditching a coach to travel in favour of a motorbike.

"It was probably the time I told my mum I was taking the coach from Kent to Cornwall for a holiday with my friends at the age of 16, but instead I hopped on the back of a Honda motorbike for the journey down instead."


Boris Johnson

Bookies' favourite to become leader, Boris Johnson, recounted a time he and his sister filled Wellington boots with water.

"My sister and I once filled a row of gumboots with water. We were soundly thrashed. I may have done naughtier things but they have momentarily escaped me."

Mr Johnson has previously confessed to using cocaine as a teen, but joked it may have been icing sugar.

“I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed and so it did not go up my nose. In fact, I may have been given icing sugar," he recounted.


Sajid Javid

The home secretary said his "naughtiest moment" taught him to "rise above digs" in the future.

"When I was a little boy there was a kid in my class who kept picking on me and calling me a ‘p***’," he said.

"One day I had just had enough so I punched him square in the chops. Yes, it was satisfying but I’d be really cross with my children if they lost control of themselves and resorted to violence in the face of racism like I did.

"We crossed paths again years later in a lift in a shopping centre. He was contrite and we shook hands. In my old age, I’ve developed a better ability to rise above digs about the colour of my skin."


Esther McVey

Esther McVey has previously evaded the question with Sky News' Sophy Ridge, and did so again this time around.

"As I told Sophy Ridge, it’s for me to know and you not to find out," she said.


Jeremy Hunt

The foreign secretary said he had a "cannabis lassi" - which is a yoghurt drink - whilst abroad.

"Drinking a cannabis lassi when I went backpacking through India," he said.


Mark Harper

The former chief whip's anecdote ended with a broken ankle.

"It has to be falling off a table while dancing in a Soho bar and breaking my ankle while at my wife’s work leaving party," he said.

"I was rumbled when I bumped into a journalist at St Thomas’s Hospital A&E before taking Home Office questions some days later, complete with a pair of crutches."


Matt Hancock

Health secretary Matt Hancock revealed his murky sports commentating past.

"I was my university radio’s sports commentator. I was meant to be commentating on an England v Australia rugby match at Twickenham from the press box," he said.

"I ended up not being able to get there on time so I went to a pub, watched the opening, and then called in from a phonebox opposite, pretending to commentate on the opening saying, 'the atmosphere here at Twickenham is electric'.

"Nobody realised."


Sam Gyimah

Mr Gyimah said he had a "long list", which he refused to share.

"It’s a long list, and not for public consumption, but I’d candidly suggest that standing for the Tory leadership on a second referendum platform must rank quite high," he said.