Independent candidate Rory Stewart has ended his bid to become the next Mayor of London.
The former Conservative MP said his decision was down to both the coronavirus crisis and the “difficulties” of keeping his independently-run campaign going for an extra year.
The UK’s local and mayoral elections, which were due to take place tomorrow, have been postponed until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a video message on Twitter, Mr Stewart said the decision was “hugely disappointing” but that he was leaving the race with the “deepest and most profound gratitude” to his supporters.
“London remains the greatest city on Earth. It would have been the greatest privilege of my life to be the Mayor of London, and to run London and to be able to work with you in London,” he said.
The race is now being run by incumbent Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, Siobhan Benita representing the Liberal Democrats and Sian Berry for the Green Party.
Reacting to Mr Stewart’s withdrawal, Mr Bailey tweeted: “Rory is someone who has dedicated his career to public service, and I want to thank him for the valuable and refreshing contribution he made to the race for City Hall.
“I wish him all the best for the next chapter.”
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