Lord Feldman

Matthew Parris writes as follows in the Times (£) today, quoting Iain Dale’s column on this site yesterday.

“Already (and inexplicably) it has been announced that for the online primary the party will hold for the selection of its candidate, there will only be two, or at the most three, names; and everybody knows Goldsmith’s will be one of them. But Conservative Campaign Headquarters doesn’t say how these names will be selected.

It is positively Soviet. As the broadcaster and former Tory parliamentary candidate Iain Dale wrote on the ConservativeHome website yesterday, “it’s outrageous . . . Why shouldn’t Londoners have a much wider choice?” Labour is offering a shortlist of six.”

We agree with Matthew – and made the same point at the end of last month.

One can believe that there shouldn’t be a shortlist in the first place – that Londoners should be able to weight the merits of Goldsmith, Syed Kamall, Stephen Greenhalgh, Andrew Boff, Ivan Massow and – we gather – Philippa Roe in the Open Primary.

Or one can believe that there should, and that a committee should whittle these six names down to a smaller number.

But either way, shouldn’t Party members be told who will be doing the whittling?  With Ian and Matthew, we believe that they should.  CCHQ’s secrecy over the London Mayoral candidate selection spits in the face of Party members.  What has it come to when Labour is running is more open, fair and democratic selection?

ConservativeHome will return to the matter next week.



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