Sat. Sep 30th, 2023


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Boris supporters accuse Tory chiefs of undermining London Mayor candidate

3 min read

Susan Hall tackles Sadiq Khan over ULEZ expansion

A new row has broken out in the Conservative Party after chairman Greg Hands launched a review into the “shambles” which got Susan Hall selected as the candidate to take on Sadiq Khan next May.

The move has led to the Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO), founde by supporters of Boris Johnson, to accuse party chiefs of attacking the membership again.

The row is the latest act in an ongoing civil war in the Conservative Party which erupted as a result of the coups by MPs last year to remove Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to install Rishi Sunak without the support of ordinary members.

Chairman of the CDO David Campbell Bannerman blasted: “Conservatives should all get behind Susan Hall and focus on removing Labour’s disastrous Mayor Khan.

“As opposed to some MP selections, the London Mayoral contest did have the opportunity for members to vote – twice – on a number of candidates, and CDO found the process democratic.

“Councillor Hall should not be undermined by unsuccessful candidates who had the opportunity to put their case to members at the time. A review should be done after the election not right at start of campaign.”

READ MORE: Inside the Tory mayoral selection ‘clusterf***’ that has handed London to Khan

CDO backer Lord Cruddas added: “This should have been left to members to vote on the candidate after hustings.”

The review has been launched over a series of mistakes which took place during the selection.

LBC has reported that chairman Greg Hands began the review after coming under severe criticism for the way that Paul Scully, the Minister for London, was kept off the shortlist of three in what many people consider was a stitch-up.

The process has been branded “a shambles” with one of the final three candidates, Daniel Korski, forced to drop out over sexual assault allegations.

Mr Hands had an opportunity to reopen the contest after Korski dropped out but controversially went ahead with a shortlist of two with Ms Hall and barrister Moz Hossain.

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The review is to be carried out by Tory peer Lord Udny-Lister and has been defended by Ms Hall because she believes it is more about campaigning in London.

She said: “Next year’s elections are absolutely vital. We have to defeat Sadiq Khan and Labour in London, so we can make this city a better place to live for everyone.

“Lord Udny-Lister’s review is an excellent idea, I fully support it and it will help us ensure we are at our best.”

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “The party chairman has appointed Lord Lister to undertake an internal review into the structures, processes, and organisation of the Conservative Party in London.

“The purpose of this review is to build on the success of the Uxbridge and South Ruislip parliamentary by-election in July, to ensuring that the Conservative Party in London is in the best position possible to take the fight comprehensively to our opponents in next year’s crucial elections across the capital.”

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