Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has been in Kent on a whistle-stop tour of Conservative groups to whip up support in his bid to be Tory leader and the next Prime Minister.
When the premiership hopeful visited Tunbridge Wells this afternoon, reporter Ben Austin went along to hear what he had to say...
When I was told go and meet a candidate for the seat in Number 10 I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
I am not politically savvy but nonetheless to be given the opportunity to see a future Prime Minister is one not to be sniffed at.
After Alex’s time with Liz Truss I was expecting something similar to his description but arrived to anything but.
With the huddle being at the Constitutional Club in Tunbridge Wells I was immediately wedged into a tiny room away from the rest.
On the one hand this could be seen as an act of genuine interest – wanting to keep the press separate from the rest of the crowd and give us his full undivided attention.
On the other hand, it would have been nice to be invited a little earlier to gauge more of the atmosphere and support around the man – especially after a lack of invite to his visit to Sevenoaks last week.
But in this room was where we were stashed away and soon Rishi came round the staircase and approached arm stretched for a handshake.
As soon as he entered the room, he dictated the course of conversation introducing everyone to his entourage.
But once everyone was seated his ability to dictate a conversation shone through when he controlled the discussion and navigated his way through each person's questions individually.
He immediately set about answering us one at a time and speaking at a quick and concise rate.
He was asked about things from the Levelling Up campaign and the cost-of-living crisis, to the issue affecting the port of Dover.
He spoke with confidence and held himself well – punctuating every phrase with the thumb of power you see all learned speakers do.
When talking about Dover, Rishi said: “I think this is an issue that we absolutely need to grip.”
He explained he had a 10-point plan published on his website about the way he would combat the issue.
He spoke of how he himself is “somebody who is a product of this country’s unbelievable compassion in accepting migrants from around the world” but said the “migration system should not be exploited.”
He also mentioned his work as Chancellor of the Exchequer and how he “announced significant support for families over the autumn and winter of up to £1,200 to meet rising bills.”
But with costs expected to rise higher, Rishi has announced he would “cut the VAT on fuel this autumn" in hopes to put more money back into the public's pockets.
Operation Brock was also brought into conversation where he said: “It’s not acceptable for British families to have to deal with this level of disruption.
"It's entirely knowable that this is a busy time of year for people to travel.”
But as quick as he was to acknowledge the issue he didn’t layout any conclusive plan to try and solve it - instead just emphasising that "it’s got nothing to do with Brexit."
The meeting ended as quickly as it started with Rishi being whisked away to say his goodbyes downstairs.
He accepted my request for a selfie but due to my unsteady hand an aide had to take the photo before getting into his Range Rover convoy and driving away.
I was told that Rishi was to be heading back to London after his visit to the Royal town though for what business was unclear.