Conservatives Kick Off Search For London Mayor Candidate
A Vote Conservative rosette (Alamy)
The Conservatives have formally kicked off the search for their London mayoral candidate and opened up applications to stand for the job at City Hall.
Londoners are next due to go to the polls on 2 May 2024 to elect a mayor for the city. Labour’s Sadiq Khan has already confirmed that he is seeking a third term in office, having held the position since 2016. Boris Johnson, who was London mayor for 2008-2016, is the only Conservative to have held the post.
The Tory candidate chosen to challenge Khan will be announced on 19 July, after party members in London have had the chance to select from two or three finalists, the party said this afternoon.
Applications have now opened, and will close on 24 May, when the candidates will be whittled down to eight and two reserves.
On 4 June, a shortlisting committee will then select two or three final candidates, who will take part in hustings events, before voting opens to members in London between 4 July and 18 July.
Party chair Greg Hands said that the Conservatives would be the “only party” who could prevent Khan “inflicting a decade of decline” on London.
“I’m confident that whichever of the great candidates is selected by our members will be the right person to take the fight to him,” he added.
A number of Conservatives have already expressed their interest in the role.
Minister for London Paul Scully told an event last month that he was “considering” throwing his name in the ring.
The Evening Standard reported Scully told the Centre for London’s spring conference: “I am considering it, I haven’t made a decision yet, but frankly if we’re going to get London working, if we’re going to keep London as the top city in the world, there are certain things that the Mayor does, and frankly I just want to make sure that they get done, whoever is the Mayor of London.”
Samuel Kasumu, a former special adviser to Johnson has already announced his intention to stand, and has received the backing of some big party names, including former home secretary Priti Patel.
The planned expansion of the controversial ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) will likely feature heavily in the campaigns, with all 32 London boroughs set to be included in the £12.50 a day charge this August.
Housing is also likely to be a hot topic, as planning policy nationally continues to be a point of contention for Tory MPs in the Commons.
Writing in ConservativeHome in November last year, Kasumu described his party as being “in danger of turning our back on Thatcher’s legacy”.
“It is vital for our future that we continue efforts to get more homes built,” he wrote.
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