Tory Chairman Greg Hands Refuses to Reopen London Mayoral Candidate Selection Amid Controversy

Tory Chairman Greg Hands Refuses to Reopen London Mayoral Candidate Selection Amid Controversy

…By Henry George for TDPel Media.

The Chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands, has made a commitment not to reopen the race for the party’s London mayoral candidate, according to sources.

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This assurance was given during a hustings event in Kensington and Chelsea on Wednesday evening after Dan Korski withdrew from the competition, leaving Susan Hall and Moz Hossain as the remaining contenders to challenge Labour mayor Sadiq Khan in the upcoming City Hall elections in May.

Korski announced his withdrawal on Wednesday afternoon, citing a decade-old “false and unproven” allegation that he groped TV producer Daisy Goodwin in Downing Street as the reason for his inability to continue.

The Tory party subsequently declared that the selection process would not be restarted.

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However, Az Chowdhury, campaign manager for Minister for London Paul Scully, who failed to make the shortlist, expressed his disagreement, describing the decision as “unconscionable.”

In response to the news, Scully shared an image of the headline from Wednesday’s edition of the Standard, which read “Have the Tories given up on London?,” accompanied by a message expressing his own frustration.

Scully voiced disappointment that the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) opted to proceed with just two candidates, relying on a select few individuals with financial resources and influence rather than trusting the party’s members who possess a genuine understanding of London.

Samuel Kasumu, another candidate who did not make the shortlist, also expressed the view that the selection process should be reopened.

Steve Norris, the Tory mayoral candidate in 2000 and 2004, joined in the call to rerun the process, arguing that having only two choices, no matter how qualified they may be, is unreasonable and impractical.

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However, Susan Hall, the frontrunner following Korski’s withdrawal, stated that restarting the race would be incorrect.

She cited reassurances from Greg Hands, the party chairman, as well as Tory MP Nickie Aiken, the deputy chairman, and Clare Hambro, the chair of the London board, that the selection would not be reopened.

Hall pointed out that it had been communicated from the beginning that the race could consist of either two or three candidates, and with 13 hustings meetings already completed, it would be improper to restart the process at this stage.

Tory minister Neil O’Brien indicated that the party would review its candidate vetting procedures in light of the allegation against Korski.

O’Brien emphasized the seriousness of the allegations and stressed the need to address any improvements that could be made to the vetting process.

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Susan Hall, a London Assembly member, highlighted her 17 years of experience as a councillor and her leadership of the GLA Tories, emphasizing her track record of not causing any issues for the party.

She believes that a competent and experienced individual who understands City Hall thoroughly is what London needs to recover from its challenges.

The Conservative Party’s London board, responsible for overseeing the shortlisting process, is scheduled to meet in the coming days to discuss the ongoing race.

However, a source mentioned that it would be inaccurate to suggest that the board intends to reverse the decision made by party headquarters.

The source clarified that no agenda has been set for the meeting, but expressed personal support for continuing with the current two-candidate lineup.

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