Both the FT and BBC Radio 4’s Saturday PM this afternoon covered the Tories’ problems with an open primary for the London Mayoral candidate and the possible involvement of Nick Ferrari among others.
Ferrari’s position seems to be that really good candidates (like him obviously) are too busy doing real stuff to bother with campaigning until maybe the start of 2008. I think that if people can’t make a commitment to London and the Tories sooner than that then we should not consider them. It may well be that we cannot recruit a big hitter but it is better to accept this sooner rather than later. With this rolling process of deadlines that will not hold it makes it too big a risk for ANYONE to apply because they are likely to have the legs cut from under them by the central party if the panjandrums don’t like the candidate. Isn’t the point of an open primary that Londoners choose from a wide field?
The party should set out a timetable and stick to it. A low key candidate will gather momentum if they get to work and the party gets behind them sooner rather then later.