‘Who on earth is Rehman Chishti?’: People left baffled as ‘unknown’ bids for Tory leadership

‘Who on earth is Rehman Chishti?’: People left baffled as relative unknown who arrived in UK unable to speak a word of English before becoming a barrister announces his unlikely bid for Tory leadership

  • Mr Chishti raised eyebrows in Westminster by becoming the 11th Tory candidate 
  • Critics have insisted that the field in the leadership battle is already too crowded 
  • Politician was confronted outside Parliament by anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray 

A little known Tory who once represented Labour has announced he is running to be the next party leader – but so few people had heard of him that: ‘Who is Rehman Chishti?’ began trending on Twitter today.

Mr Chishti, who represents Gillingham and Rainham in Kent, was confronted outside Parliament by anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray this afternoon and explained his low profile by saying: ‘I’ve been getting on with my job as a member of parliament’.

Mr Bray, who has been camped in Westminster for five years, then followed him off College Green saying: ‘I’ve never seen you before in my life’.

The MP hoping to be the next Tory leader replied: ‘Well you have now. Have a lovely day’. 

Mr Chisti has raised eyebrows in Westminster by becoming the 11th candidate to officially throw their hat into the ring to replace Boris Johnson – leading to a stream of mocking memes on social media. 

Twitter users also mocked an image of him looking into the distance with a steely look. 

Critics, including in his own party, have said that the field in the leadership battle is already too crowded. Mr Chisti does not appear to be listed with all bookies.

Rehman Chisti has raised eyebrows in Westminster by becoming the 11th candidate to officially throw their hat into the ring to replace Boris Johnson

Rehman Chisti has raised eyebrows in Westminster by becoming the 11th candidate to officially throw their hat into the ring to replace Boris Johnson

The video - which was interrupted by the sound of wind and cut off early - prompted hilarity on social media, with one user comparing him to road rage driver Ronnie Pickering - famous for the line 'Do you know who I am? I'm Ronnie Pickering'

The video – which was interrupted by the sound of wind and cut off early – prompted hilarity on social media, with one user comparing him to road rage driver Ronnie Pickering – famous for the line ‘Do you know who I am? I’m Ronnie Pickering’

The Kent Tory, appointed as a junior Foreign Office minister by Boris Johnson last week, tweeted: ‘I’m standing to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and your prime minister. For me it’s about aspirational conservatism, fresh ideas, fresh team for a fresh start taking our great country forward.’

He also launched what critics have unkindly called a low budget campaign video on Facebook being buffeted by gusts of wind in the Kent countryside.

Mr Rahman described arriving in Britain from Pakistan in 1984, aged six, unable to speak English. He has already joined the candidates in promising lower taxes – but wants to spend more on mental health services.

The video – which was interrupted by the sound of wind and cut off early – prompted hilarity on social media, with one user comparing him to road rage driver Ronnie Pickering – famous for the line ‘Do you know who I am? I’m Ronnie Pickering’. 

Mr Chishti, who represents Gillingham and Rainham in Kent, was confronted outside Parliament by anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray this afternoon

Mr Chishti, who represents Gillingham and Rainham in Kent, was confronted outside Parliament by anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray this afternoon

He explained his low profile by saying: 'I've been getting on with my job as a member of parliament'

He explained his low profile by saying: ‘I’ve been getting on with my job as a member of parliament’

After his election in 2010 as Tory MP for Gillingham and Rainham, he passed his time on the backbenches before a surprise elevation amid the turmoil that engulfed the government last week. 

This saw him appointed under-secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs. After just two days in the office he decided it was time to apply to become Prime Minister. 

Announcing his candidacy on Twitter last night, he said: ‘For me it all started back in 1984 when I came to Gillingham. I went to Napier Primary School. I was not able to speak a single word of English. It was down to the amazing teachers that I had who instilled the values in me of courage, of determination, of self belief, of a can-do attitude which led to me being the first person in my family to go to university to study law…’

After his election in 2010 as Tory MP for Gillingham and Rainham, he passed his time on the backbenches before a surprise elevation amid the turmoil that engulfed the government last week

After his election in 2010 as Tory MP for Gillingham and Rainham, he passed his time on the backbenches before a surprise elevation amid the turmoil that engulfed the government last week

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