The BBC’s Nick Robinson has reported that the Tories are seeking to draft Henley MP Boris Johnson as their candidate for Mayor of London.
This afternoon Mr Johnson issued the following statement:
“Being Mayor of London would be a fantastic job and anyone who loves London would want to consider the possibility very carefully. I want to stress that this idea did not come from David Cameron or from anyone in his office but I have, of course, been very struck by the number of people who have been urging me to run.”
“In my case, there are huge obstacles – above all my commitment and responsibility to my constituency. It is hard to see how those difficulties could be overcome – but I am ruling nothing out.”
The news has met with a mixed reaction on party activist site Conservative Home and ridicule from the London Labour Party.
Len Duvall, Chair of the London Labour Party & London Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham, described the Conservative’s selection process a “fiasco”which he claimed showed the Tories “are not fit to run their own party, let alone London.”
“The problem for the Tories is their leader stabbed all the potential candidates in the back by trying to ditch them in favour of Greg Dyke. Their former candidate Steve Norris admitted as much himself this a few weeks ago when he said that the unfortunate reality for whoever the Tories choose is that will know they are not the candidate the party leader actually wanted.”
The deadline deadline for applications to become Conservative candidate is 16 July, with a short list drawn up by 3 August. Votes for the final candidate will close on 26 September.