Three Conservative contenders battle to take on Khan at next City Hall election

Shock as government minister is omitted from the shortlist of Tory mayoral contenders, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Tory mayoral contenders (L-R) Daniel Korski, Mozammel Hossain and Susan Hall
Tory mayoral contenders (L-R) Daniel Korski, Mozammel Hossain and Susan Hall

Three Conservative contenders for London mayor have been shortlisted by the party in the battle to take on Sadiq Khan at next year’s City Hall election.

Minister for London Paul Scully had been widely expected to appear on the party’s shortlist of three potential candidates, but has not been selected. Instead, the Conservatives have chosen London Assembly member Susan Hall, former Downing Street aide turned tech entrepreneur Daniel Korski and barrister Mozammel Hossain.

After the announcement at the weekend Sadiq Khan has accused the Conservative Party of “running scared” of their national political record by failing to select a government minister to run against him. Scully was the sole government minister and MP on the party’s longlist of candidates.

Commenting on that decision, Khan said: “You’ve got a Conservative Party who have stopped the minister for London from standing to be the Conservative mayoral candidate, because they’re clearly running scared of standing on the Conservative record.

“I’m going to be standing on my record next May and I’ll be pointing out the Conservative record over the last 14 years.”

Khan’s opponent in the last mayoral election, Shaun Bailey, has meanwhile been offered a peerage by former prime minister Boris Johnson. 

Commenting, Khan said: “What I’d say to the three candidates is, obviously I’m hoping that I win and I’m chosen, but the good news for them is anyone who loses gets a job in the House of Lords.”

In a statement on Sunday, issued as the shortlist of candidates was published, Tory party chairman Greg Hands MP said:  “All three of these individuals have shown great commitment to fighting Sadiq Khan and to bettering London with the Conservatives.

“I thank all of the candidates that put their name forward for this process and look forward to the hustings to come.”

The party says Khan has hiked up council tax for Londoners to record levels, is “failing to keep Londoners safe”, and has “broken his promises on strikes”.

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