'Hardest Geezer' Russ Cook joins Rishi Sunak on run around London landmarks

Russ Cook and Rishi Sunak runs past Horse Guards Parade Credit: PA

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak joined ultra-runner Russ Cook for a run around some of London’s landmarks, describing him as “powerful” and “inspiring”.

The pair met inside 10 Downing Street and were filmed running through Horse Guards Parade and Buckingham Palace before completing their journey on Downing Street.

Dubbed 'Britain's Hardest Geezer', Mr Cook, from Worthing, West Sussex, recently completed an epic run of over 16,000km across the entire length of Africa.

Even after such a mammoth feat, the 27-year-old jogger completed the London Marathon on Sunday.

In a video posted on X, Mr Sunak called Mr Cook a “role model” to the public after they discussed ways in which they each manage their mental health.

“I think it starts with role models and generally those are best when they’re not politicians,” Mr Sunak said.

“That’s why you are incredibly powerful in this. You talking about your journey and your story, which is incredibly inspiring.”

He added that Mr Cook’s fundraising journey has impacted members of the public “more than any amount of government policy”.

Mr Sunak said: “You talking to people about the benefits of strong family relationships, finding work that you have purpose and fulfilment in, getting out and about exercising, all those things contribute to good positive mental health.

“People hearing that from someone like you and seeing that you were able to overcome all the challenges that you did and look at you now.

“If everyone just hears that, that’s going to do more good than any amount of government policy.”

Russ Cook and Rishi Sunak run past Buckingham Palace Credit: Rishi Sunak/PA

Standing outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Cook asked Mr Sunak about his most stressful day as Prime Minister.

“Generally the most stressful days relate to not all the stuff you read about politics and what’s going on here,” Mr Sunak said.

“The most stressful days relate to security days because people’s live are at risk or I’m asking our soldiers or armed forces to put their lives at risk, which we saw the other weekend. Those are always the most stressful days.”

Mr Cook also asked about Mr Sunak’s role as leader of the Conservative party, noting the party’s divisive public opinion.

He said: “I guess you’re a Tory Prime Minister – whatever you do it’s going to upset at least 50 per cent of people.”

Mr Sunak said: “You just have to accept that. I always say if at the end of the day, if I look myself in the mirror and know that I’m working as hard as I can doing what I believe it right for the country, the rest is the rest.”

The pair completed their run at 10 Downing Street, prompting Mr Cook to take a selfie with Mr Sunak outside of the famous building.