By Rachael Grealish
Former Cumbrian MP, Rory Stewart, has announced his decision to withdraw from the race to be the next Mayor of London.
The announcement came when the Stewart posted a video of his decision on social media with the comment: “It is with sadness that I have decided not to run in the postponed London Mayoral election next year.
“Thank you to all who supported me, engaged with the campaign and shared my vision of all London can achieve.”
In the video, which dropped on what would be the eve of polling day for the role, the former London Mayor candidate said it had been an ‘agonising decision’ but he couldn’t ask unpaid campaign volunteers to work for another year.
This is because the polling has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
He stated: “I firmly believe London is the greatest city on earth – and its courageous response to Covid-19 proves that more than ever.
“It would have been the honour of my life to serve the city as mayor, but while the considerable challenges of running as an independent were manageable for a normal race they are forbidding for an extended and delayed election.”
The 47-year-old politician served as a Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border fro 2010 until 2019 when he subsequently decided to sit as independent after his failure in the Conservative party leader election.