Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tory Attempts to select London Mayor Candidate Collapse - Again

The Tories were supposed to have been revived by the Bullingdon Boys and were said to be full of bright ideas. Last April they announced that they would have Open Primaries to select a candidate for Mayor, where members of the public would vote. But the public proved indifferent, and no decent candidates put themselves forward.

They tried to get radio DJ Nick Ferrari to stand, but wanted him to commit too early. As a result, he pulled out last August. According to the BBC:

He said he would look again at the idea in 12 months time as the situation might be different if he was an independent candidate campaigning for a much shorter period of time.

"The Conservative Party has got this wrong," he said. "They have got a bunch of people who are not even names in their own households.

"They have botched it. They have gone 12 months too soon."

Mr Ferrari said he had a conversation with Conservative headquarters to see if there was any movement in the timetable and was told there was not.

And now it looks like they have "botched" again.

According to the FT,

Conservative leader David Cameron’s attempts to find a candidate to contest London’s next mayoral election appear to have blown up in his face, after hopes of getting Greg Dyke, the former BBC boss, to stand on a joint ticket with the Liberal Democrats unravelled.

.............At a meeting between Mr Cameron and Sir Menzies Campbell, Lib Dem leader, on Wednesday, Sir Menzies rebuffed the Tory approach, saying a joint candidacy would deprive Londoners of a choice. A Conservative official said Mr Cameron had been told it was against the Lib Dem constitution.

The Lib Dem rejection are a humiliating setback for the Conservative leader, who is struggling to find a candidate to take on Labour’s Ken Livingstone in the 2008 mayoral election.

Mr Dyke confirmed he had been approached by the Tories about standing as a candidate and discussed with them the possibility of a joint candidacy with the Lib Dems. He told the Financial Times: “The answer is I’m not a candidate. They [the Tories] came and talked to me, said ’would you be interested’ and I said I wouldn’t stand as a Conservative candidate.

My Dyke said he had told the party, however, that, were the elections “an opportunity to do something interesting, as Conservatives and Lib Dems together, and do it as an independent candidate, then potentially that was interesting”.

Mr Dyke of course had his resignation accepted by the BBC board over the Andrew Gilligan affair. His fault was that he'd neglected to check whether Gilligan's story stood up before backing him. At the time he said:

"I don't want to go. But if in the end you screw up you have to go."

Oh dear. If the Tories can't even select a candidate for the London race, are they actually capable of running that city - or the country? They also don't seem to have any decent candidates who are prepared to stand aganist Ken. Even "screw-ups" like Greg Dyke won't stand as conservatives.

1 comment:

jams o donnell said...

Even though I have never cared much for Livinstone I get the feeling that he will get a third term with ease.