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London Mayoral Election Update: Conservative Candidates Visit Downing Street

London

On Sunday afternoon, the Conservative Party’s shortlisted candidates for the London Mayoral Election next May were announced. Following this, the three candidates, Susan Hall, Daniel Korski and Mozammel Hossain visited Downing Street earlier.

However, the shortlisted results did not come without a shocking result. The race to become the Conservative mayoral candidate for London took a turn on Sunday afternoon when the apparent frontrunner failed to make it onto the party’s shortlist. Paul Scully, the Minister for London and MP for Sutton and Cheam, had been widely thought to be the most likely to be chosen to challenge incumbent Labour mayor Sadiq Khan in next May’s City Hall elections.

The shortlist

London Assembly member Susan Hall, former Downing Street aide turned tech entrepreneur Daniel Korski and barrister Mozammel Hossain were selected on Sunday night by party officials to battle it out to secure the right to challenge Labour mayor Sadiq Khan in next May’s City Hall elections. After a series of hustings, London party members will vote between July 4 and 18, with a winner being announced on July 19.

Concerning Scully, there have been suggestions that his role in an unpopular Government would have counted against him. However, as the only MP on the longlist, many had assumed he would be hard to beat. Moreover, as minister for technology and the digital economy, he had a key part in shaping the Online Safety Bill – legislation designed to protect people from harmful content while preserving principles of freedom of speech.

A visit to Downing Street

The three shortlisted Conservatives to become the party’s London mayoral candidate were in Downing Street on Monday. Party officials were expected to set out the ground rules for the forthcoming campaign, as the Conservatives seek to prevent Sadiq Khan from securing a record third term of office.

Are the odds against khan?

The voting system in next year’s London mayoral election is being changed to the conventional first past the post system. Sadiq Khan can therefore not rely on having his majority boosted by second preference votes from Londoners who voted for the Lib-Dem or Green candidate in the first instance.

Another factor is the vocal opposition against the expansion of the Ulez boundary. Five Conservative-led councils have brought legal proceedings against Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the ULEZ boundary to include all of London’s boroughs. Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, Hillingdon and Surrey councils are all seeking a judicial review to scrutinise how the mayor’s decision was finalised.

Sadiq Khan’s plans, set to become enforceable in August, have faced controversy since their unveiling as critics note the lack of public transport services outside of inner London mean driving is less of a choice in the outer boroughs.

Final thought

People are shocked that Paul Scully did not make it to the shortlist, but the other candidates may still stand a chance against Sadiq, particularly due to the Conservative’s criticism of the Ulez expansion which may fuel further support for their prospective chosen candidate in outer London boroughs.

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