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Boris Johnson Rolls Along, but He Has Surprising Company

He worries that Mr. Johnson has somehow won the support both of lawmakers determined to leave the European Union at the end of October — with or without a deal — and of those who oppose quitting without any agreement. That, he says, suggests that Mr. Johnson is making very different promises to different people, something that could come back to haunt him in office.

Mr. Stewart has had his own awkward moments. When asked on Monday whether he had worked for the British intelligence agency MI6, he replied “no.” Subsequently, however, he was forced to admit that, had he done so, he would not be permitted to admit it publicly.

The son of a senior British intelligence officer, Mr. Stewart was briefly a tutor to Prince William and Prince Harry before becoming a diplomat. He walked 6,000 miles alone across Iran, Pakistan and part of Afghanistan, and wrote a well-received book, “The Places in Between.”

Other contenders have largely run conventional campaigns, lobbying lawmakers in Parliament, staging news conferences, promising tax cuts and appearing for the seemingly obligatory pictures in jogging gear.

But Mr. Stewart has tried to appeal to voters through social media and walking tours, and made a virtue of his honesty in admitting that extracting Britain from the European Union is a difficult task with no easy answers.

While he has no particularly persuasive solution to the Brexit riddle that defeated Prime Minister Theresa May, he at least acknowledges the fact, deriding other contenders who argue that it might be necessary to suspend Parliament in order to do so.

His campaign launch, in a large circus tent on the south bank of the Thames, was one of the most energetic and unusual events staged by any Conservative politician in recent memory, surprising both in its scope and its tone.

Source: NYT > World

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