Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart apologises for smoking opium at Iran wedding
Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart has admitted that he made “a stupid mistake” by smoking opium at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago.
The International Development Secretary admitted taking the drug, which is illegal to take in the country and in the UK where it as a Class A substance, when a pipe was passed among guests.
The frontbencher, who has written a book and produced a documentary series on his travels across the Middle East told the Daily Telegraph that it “had no effect” on him “because I was walking 25-30 miles a day".
He said. “I was invited into the house, the opium pipe was passed around at a wedding. I thought – this is going be a very strange afternoon to walk – but it may be that the family was so poor they put very little opium in the pipe.”
Mr Stewart, who formerly served as a governor in Iraq, later told Sky News that he regretted taking the substance given the impact it had on society.
“I think it was a very stupid mistake and I did it 15 years ago, and I actually went on in Iran to see the damage that opium was doing to communities,” he added.
“I’ve seen it as a Prisons Minister. It was something that was very wrong, I made a stupid mistake.
"I was at a wedding in a large community meeting and somebody passed this pipe around the room and I smoked it – I shouldn’t have done, I was wrong."
The leadership hopeful is currently seen as an outsider in the race to succeed Mrs May in late July and has spent the early days of his campaign posting clips of his conversations with voters in English towns.