Former Tory minister and leadership hopeful Rory Stewart has taken a job at the helm of an international charity.

Mr Stewart, who put himself forward to be prime minister in the race won by Boris Johnson in 2019, has been appointed president of GiveDirectly, which seeks to help donors send money straight to the world’s poorest households.

The ex-international development secretary had stints in the army and diplomatic service prior to his career as an MP in Westminster.

He said he is “beyond excited” about the move to the non-profit.

“People have talked about ending poverty for decades – but GiveDirectly gives us the model that can deliver it,” he said.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stripped Rory Stewart of the Tory whip in 2019 (Oli Scarff/PA)

“Unconditional cash transfers have been proven to deliver support to those that need it with unprecedented speed and scale, meaning we now have the opportunity to do something really historic.

“I am beyond excited to take on the role of president as we embark on this endeavour – at a time when climate change and the pandemic make global poverty more urgent than ever.”

Mr Stewart had the Tory whip removed by Mr Johnson for defying the Prime Minister by backing a move designed to block a no-deal Brexit in 2019.

He quit the party the following month and immediately launched a bid for the London mayoralty as an independent candidate but pulled out of the race after the vote was delayed to 2021, saying it was too difficult to sustain a campaign extended by the Covid pandemic.

He currently co-hosts a politics podcast with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell.