A FORMER Conservative minister has said he has "often" considered standing for election to the Scottish Parliament, branding the idea "very attractive".

Speaking ahead of the publication of his new memoir, Politics On The Edge, Rory Stewart also said he “despised” the “creeping” MP he became before leaving the House of Commons in 2019.

Stewart said he cared deeply about Scotland, adding: “Scottish Conservatism has more in common with the way that I view the world”.

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Stewart is a former Tory MP who served as International Development Secretary under Theresa May. In the aftermath of May's resignation, he took part in the 2019 Conservative leadership contest, losing out to Boris Johnson.

Following his defeat, Stewart resigned from his ministerial post after Johnson (below) became Tory leader as he felt he could not serve under his fellow old Etonian.

When asked if he would consider running in Scotland, he said: "Yes, I have often thought of it. 

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"I think for somebody like me who is about the liberal centre, and obviously it would be a liberal unionist centre in Scotland, I can see a real point to that, yes. And maybe that is something to think about in the long run."

Stewart has spoken previously of his Scottish roots, saying his father was “a man for tartan trousers, bagpipes, the whole lot” and that he thought it was “fun being Scottish because it was a way of irritating the English”.

The Tory said he was still struggling about whether he wanted to return to politics “at all”, but if he did, Scotland would be an avenue he would consider.

Stewart also gave his opinion on similarities between the 2014 independence referendum and the Brexit vote in 2016, saying there were “huge echoes” between them.

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He said: “They're much more similar than people like to acknowledge. They're both very, very much driven by social media.

"The Scottish referendum was one of the first real social media-driven events in British politics. I think it found itself, like Brexit, in this stand-off between David Cameron making quite dry economic arguments, and not really understanding the arguments of identity and emotion on the other side, and struggling to really mobilise a more emotional story.

"I think he was lucky to win it, actually. I think it was a close-run thing, and I don't think that campaign was done right. I think it's possible that if it had been done two years later, as populism begins to really sink in, it might well have been lost.”

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He added that the prospect of a second independence referendum is now was less relevant than in 2014 due to the resurgence of Labour.

Stewart said “I thought when Boris Johnson came in that he would have no choice other than to grant a referendum.

"It seemed to me that Nicola Sturgeon was inevitably going to be able to box him into a referendum in 2019, 2020, and when Johnson and others said ‘no, we're not going to hold one’, I thought, you know, ‘you're naive, you're not going to be able to get away with this.

"You don't understand Scotland. You don't understand the demand. It's going to be very difficult for you to resist this’.

"But of course, he did resist it, and oddly, as the SNP has been damaged by the scandal and as Labour's beginning to get a bit more momentum again, it doesn't feel to me as though this is a very propitious moment for Humza Yousaf."