Labour members and supporters will have a choice of six potential mayoral candidates, party bosses have announced.
Transport expert Christian Wolmar, former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and MPs Diane Abbott, David Lammy, Gareth Thomas and Sadiq Khan have all made it on to the party’s shortlist.
All six had secured the backing of five or more local constituency parties (CLPs) in accordance with Labour’s rules but, on Friday, some contenders had feared the party would remove them from the contest and announce a shortlist of just three or four candidates.
Currently polling suggests Khan, who was backed by 42 CLPs, and Jowell, who won the support of 63, are the front runners to win the nomination.
Two years ago former Labour leader Ed Miliband announced the party would select its candidate via a primary in which members and supporters who paid a one-off registration fee would be eligible to vote.
Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, said: “The Mayor has let down London for too long. We need a Labour mayor in City Hall to stand up for the interests of all Londoners, from Richmond to Redbridge and from Barnet to Bromley.
“But it won’t just be Labour’s members who choose our candidate. As with our Leader and Deputy Leader elections, we will let the public in.
“Hustings events will be open to the public to come and hear from the candidates, and anybody resident in London who supports the Labour Party can register to vote for who they want to see as the next Labour Mayor.
“Labour’s Mayoral candidate will lead the fightback against the Tories on behalf of Londoners. Who we choose is crucial — and a decision that I want everybody to be involved in making.”
A candidate was originally planned to be announced next month but the party’s ruling National Executive Committee pushed back the date to September when Miliband resigned following Labour’s general election defeat last month.
The move allows the party to save costs by holding the mayoral selection alongside its contest to elect a new leader.