“Bleak” State of the Shaun Bailey Campaign

This morning saw a major blow to the Tories’ London mayoral hopes as it came to light the comms agency 5654 has parted ways with Shaun Bailey’s campaign. The agency, co-headed by Priti Patel’s former SpAd and Vote Leave veteran, James Starkie, had been doing an admirable job of polishing the campaign, injecting certain elements of the Vote Leave playbook and having a go at recreating the Tories’ 2019 Topham Geurin video magicClearly no amount of Conservative creative spin can rescue their candidate… 

Guido learns the mood inside the camp is now “bleak”, as the party stood the campaign down at the end of last year. They’ve essentially run out of donor support to keep the London ship afloat; instead focusing resources on Andy Street and Ben Houchen’s campaigns who have much better chances of success in May. In the words of one source, Bailey’s campaign has been put into “special measures”…

The best the Shaun Bailey campaign is hoping for is to outperform Zac Goldsmith’s 43.2% – there are no illusions inside the bunker that they will beat Sadiq – even that threshold seems unlikely. Guido understands that there is no campaign appetite to come up with new policy of their own, and will merely focus on firefighting potential tax rises as their priority. A CCHQ source relays Tory frustration with the campaign’s refusal to go in hard on crime, due to Camp Bailey’s fear that banging on about it will scare off LibDem second preferences in inner London and places like Richmond. A strategy that will likely see outer London Tories living in the “doughnut“, who are angry about Sadiq’s record on crime, not bother to turn out on election day…

UPDATE: A Conservative Party spokesperson says:

“Operational and fundraising decisions are a matter for the Shaun Bailey campaign, which continues to have our full support. In no way has the campaign been put into special measures. Shaun Bailey will make a fantastic Mayor of London, and will start fixing Sadiq Khan’s abysmal failures on tackling crime, building affordable homes and managing TfL’s finances on day one.”

mdi-tag-outline Mayor of London Tories
mdi-account-multiple-outline James Starkie Sadiq Khan Shaun Bailey
mdi-timer January 28 2021 @ 11:00 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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