Chairman of the Conservative Party Francis Maude has issued this statement:
“Eight weeks ago we set out plans to give every Londoner the chance to become the Conservative Party’s candidate for Mayor of London, and to give all Londoners the chance to play a part in the selection process.
“Since then we have received a number of excellent applications. This has been extremely encouraging. We have also received expressions of interest from a number of very serious potential candidates for whom the timescale we originally set is too restrictive.
“Given that the mayoral elections are still nearly two years away, we are therefore extending the deadline to give these and others the chance to come forward.
“We want as wide a range of people as possible to take part in this exciting and innovative process with a view to selecting a candidate next spring.”
The 6 declared candidates must be extremely annoyed and frustrated, as well as feeling very let down by CCHQ. I am beginning to think that Iain Dale and Tim Montgomerie might have a point in their complaints about how Tory candidates are treated by Central Office.