James Cleverly has withdrawn from the race to become the Conservative Party’s Mayoral candidate.
The decision comes days after the party announced that the deadline for nominations was to be extended on the grounds that the party had “received expressions of interest from a number of very serious potential candidates for whom the timescale we originally set is too restrictive.”
In a statement published on his website Cleverly said he had “had to make a number of sacrifices and arrange a number of things in order to apply on time, the change in timescale makes those arrangements obsolete and I am not in a position where I can undo them.”
Speaking last Friday Labour Party Chairman Hazel Blears claimed the selection of candidates putting themselves forward meant that “instead of finding the next big thing, the Conservatives have reverted to the same old thing”.
Dismissing the current contenders Blears described them as “the usual line-up of failed Parliamentary candidates, old-fashioned Thatcherites and even a candidate who wants to abolish the Mayor altogether.”