Sol Campbell heads out of Tory race to be London mayor
Former footballer Sol Campbell has missed out in his bid to become the Tory candidate for Mayor of London.
The party has unveiled a four-man shortlist for the contest to succeed Boris Johnson next year, with favourite Zac Goldsmith taking on Andrew Boff, Syed Kamall and Stephen Greenhalgh.
However, England star Campbell, Westminster City Council leader Philippa Roe and businessman Ivan Massow failed to make the cut.
Official hustings will be held before September's open primary, in which anyone on the electoral register can vote. The Conservative candidate will be announced at the end of that month.
London regional chairman Ian Twinn said: "We have four excellent candidates who will now campaign across London over the summer before all Londoners will get the opportunity to vote in our primary in September."
Conservative Party deputy chairman Robert Halfon MP said: "The Conservatives are once again putting the power in the hands of all Londoners to help us choose our candidate.
"Under Boris we have seen record investment in our capital and all of this will be put at risk from a Labour Party only offering more borrowing, more spending and higher taxes."
Labour mayoral hopeful Dame Tessa Jowell said: "It is extraordinary that Tory central office believe that they have no women who are fit even to be considered to be their candidate for Mayor of London.
"London is a modern, open city built on diversity, it's time the Conservatives caught up."
Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "As a party we've been fortunate in being able to choose from seven exceptional and diverse Conservatives who were prepared to put their names forward.
"Now, in Andrew, Zac, Stephen and Syed we have a very strong field indeed from which to choose our candidate for Mayor.
"London is quite simply the greatest city on earth. Over the last eight years we've cut council tax precepts, championed a living wage, delivered record investment in transport, created more jobs than ever before, and built nearly 100,000 affordable homes. But there is still so much more to do."
"We need Government to continue to devolve power downward to City Hall and the Boroughs on housing, skills, transport, education and health.
"We need to speed up planning consents, build tens of thousands of homes on dozens of brown field opportunity areas, address health outcomes that are a barrier to tackling inequality, and provide more school places for our kids.
"I look forward to giving every possible support to our successful candidate in their quest to become the next Mayor."