The Lebedev thing is absolutely bizarre. I remember just after I was appointed as the foreign minister, the Minister of State in the Foreign Office, deputy to Boris Johnson, somebody came up to me at party conference and said, would you like to come and spend the weekend with Lebedev... lovely mansion, I think on Lake Como, there were going to be girls. It was going to be great. You will be flown over.
I believe the girl at the moment was, I can’t remember, I think it was a model. I said you have got to be kidding me, right? I have just become the foreign minister. There is no way I can possibly go. The guy's father is a KGB agent. I have never met the man before in his life. I can't be flown off to some villa, at which point the person said, don't worry Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, is coming.
So, I’ve been sort of puzzled and bemused by this whole thing for years now. I didn't go but I think it is the one which Jemima Goldsmith describes where one of the guests takes her top off at the table.
But the idea that the foreign secretary would think this was a respectable thing to do with his weekend is kind of staggering. Remember the Profumo affair? The guy lost his job for much less than that.
16 March 2022 – Rory Stewart, Conservative MP from 2010 to 2019, served as Minister for the Environment, Minister of State for International Development, Minister of State for Africa, Minister of State for Prisons and Secretary of State for International Development