London mayor election 2024: Who will be the Liberal Democrat candidate? Shortlist announced

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Rob Blackie and Chris French have been selected to compete for the London Liberal Democrat members’ votes, with a winner to be named in September.

The Liberal Democrats have named their two-person shortlist of candidates to potentially take on Sadiq Khan at next year’s mayoral election.

Rob Blackie, an anti-Brexit campaigner and adviser to startup technology companies, and Chris French, a former Met Police special constable and founder of the LGBTQ+ forum Lambeth Links, will now spend the summer attempting to win the support of the London Liberal Democrat members.

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The announcement was made on Thursday evening (July 13), with the final candidate to be named in September.

Mr Blackie’s CV includes experience ranging from working as an environmental economist for the ministry of environment and tourism in Namibia, to founding the Breaking Putin’s Censorship campaign, which, according to his website, “helps Russians to find independent news about the war in Ukraine using digital advertising”.

Campaigning under the slogan ‘Bolder with Blackie’, he has said he will hold Mr Khan accountable for the Met’s “failures to tackle violence against women”, as well as the Tories for the current cost-of-living crisis.

Mr French also said fixing the current state of policing in London is a key part of his campaign, claiming he will be a “bridge” between different communities.

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In a video uploaded onto his Twitter page, he said: “I’ve seen and experienced both sides of the law, having been a special constable with the Metropolitan Police, having been wrongly stopped and searched.”

Mr French continued: “We’re often told that London is the greatest city in the world, but that’s so for the people who can truly afford to live here, who don’t have to wait for repairs, wait for housing, wait for access to basic health and care needs, but we know that this is not so for everyone.”

Mr Blackie is currently number two on the Liberal Democrats London Assembly list for the 2024 elections, while Mr French is also their London Assembly candidate for Lambeth and Southwark.

Several parties, including the Greens and Reform UK, have already named their candidates due to take on Mr Khan next May.

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The Conservatives, who had to cut their shortlist from three to two after Daniel Korski dropped out following a claim he groped TV producer Daisy Goodwin a decade ago, will name their winner on July 19.

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