Last updated: 19 may, 2010 - 12:28 GMT

First days in parliament

Houses of Parliament, London (left); new British Conservative MP, Rory Stewart

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The first sitting of parliament has finally taken place in the UK following an indecisive general election which led to the formation of the country's first coalition government since World War II.

It promises to be a new era in UK politics, but it also represents a very abrupt career change for one new Conservative MP.

MP Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart has been a soldier, a diplomat and a bestselling author. He was once a deputy governor in post-war Iraq, and walked 6000 miles across Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, relying solely on the hospitality of the people he met on the way.

But now Rory is the Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border - a mainly rural area which covers parts of North West England.


on the campaign trail

  • Rory meets one of his constituents. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Rory meets one of his constituents. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Rory steps out on the election trail to meet voters in his rural constituency. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Rory steps out on the election trail to meet voters in his rural constituency. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Meeting a local constituent. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Meeting a local constituent. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Visiting the home of a constituent and chatting in his sitting room. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Visiting the home of a constituent and chatting in his sitting room. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Time for tea. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Time for tea. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Talking about politics over a cup of tea. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Talking about politics over a cup of tea. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Rory's constituency is a very rural area and home to many farms and livestock. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Rory's constituency is a very rural area and home to many farms and livestock. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Admiring a farmer's new lamb. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Admiring a farmer's new lamb. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Looking at a farmer's cattle. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Looking at a farmer's cattle. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Rory comes across a pony as he goes on foot to meet voters in the area. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Rory comes across a pony as he goes on foot to meet voters in the area. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Time for a well earned break. Stopping for a drink in a local pub. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Time for a well earned break. Stopping for a drink in a local pub. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Rory on his campaign tractor, using a megaphone to urge local people to vote. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Rory on his campaign tractor, using a megaphone to urge local people to vote. Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
  • Driving through the streets with the message "hands off our rural community". Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton
    Driving through the streets with the message "hands off our rural community". Photo: Margaret Langdon Hamilton


In a special programme, Outlook spent time with Rory Stewart as he began his first few days as a new MP.

He spoke to Matthew Bannister in and around the Houses of Parliament, and shared his very personal view of what it's like to become an MP at a time of such economic and political uncertainty.


At the Houses of Parliament as a new MP

  • Matthew Bannister and Rory Stewart in Parliament Square, outside the Houses of Parliament
    Matthew Bannister and Rory Stewart in Parliament Square, outside the Houses of Parliament
  • Matthew and Rory
    Matthew and Rory
  • Matthew talks to Rory about his experiences as a new MP
    Matthew talks to Rory about his experiences as a new MP
  • Looking forward to the coming months as a new Conservative MP
    Looking forward to the coming months as a new Conservative MP
  • With the Houses of Parliament in the background, Rory chats to a couple of people at the makeshift 'Democracy Village' in Parliament Square, and looks at the newly planted 'peace garden' with them.
    With the Houses of Parliament in the background, Rory chats to two people at the makeshift 'Democracy Village' in Parliament Square, and takes a look at the newly planted 'peace garden'.
  • Rory chats to a "concerned citizen" at the makeshift
    Rory chats to a "concerned citizen" at the makeshift 'Democracy Village' near the Houses of Parliament.
  • The view from Parliament Square - the makeshift 'Democracy Village' in the foreground, Portcullis House in the centre, and the Houses of Parliament on the right, with the famous Big Ben clocktower.
    The view from Parliament Square - the makeshift 'Democracy Village' in the foreground, Portcullis House in the centre, and the Houses of Parliament on the right, with the famous Big Ben clocktower.


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