James Cleverly joins Justine Greening, George Osborne and Ed Vaizey in ruling himself out of the Tory mayoral nomination:
Sorry mate. Love being the MP for #Braintree, love being Dep Chairman of @Conservatives, we will have a strong candidate who will beat weak, petulant, and disappointing Sadiq Khan in 2020 but it won’t be me.
— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) July 3, 2018
Which leaves the remaining runners and riders:
- Shaun Bailey: London Assembly Member who is one of the few candidates with a backstory to rival Khan’s. Has been effective in his criticism of the mayor over knife crime.
Syed Kamall: Time for a Brexiter mayor of London? Came second to Zac in the Tory nomination stakes last time round. Popular with true believers.
- Kulveer Ranger: Another former Boris adviser who was very effective in City Hall.
- Duwayne Brooks: Friend of Stephen Lawrence who was with him when he was murdered. Joined the Tories a couple of weeks ago and is being talked up by insiders. Has branded Sadiq “the worst mayor ever”. One to watch.
- Andrew Boff: Perennial candidate. Ladbrokes favourite…
- Richard Tice: The businessman who co-founded Leave.EU is an accomplished media performer – readers will remember his punchy Question Time appearance. Would be bold to choose a Brexiter in London, though.
- Rohan Silva: Former blue sky digital tech guru to Cameron and Osborne, Silva went on to found the Second Home workspace in Spitalfields. His name has been doing the rounds, he’s a Remainer but would be good for the youth vote and a more interesting candidate than some of those below.
- Munira Mirza: Former deputy mayor to Boris, she wrote compellingly for the Speccie a couple of months back about how stop and search is the best weapon in the fight against knife crime. The Tories have a real shortage of strong female candidates – indeed Mirza might be the only one.
- Gavin Barwell: Was sniffing around last year when he thought things were falling apart in Number 10. Would someone who couldn’t hold Croydon be able to win London? There are local whispers that Barwell now has his eye on Bob Stewart’s 15,000 majority Beckenham seat instead…
- Nick de Bois: Former Enfield MP. CCHQ took his advice on bringing the selection forwards. Has outlined how he would beat Sadiq here.
The big names shunning a doomed campaign…
UPDATE: Syed Kamall rules himself out too, “The announcement of hustings so soon means I cannot take part and still fulfil my role in helping to get the best possible deal between the UK and EU.”