he former Tory leader at City Hall has confirmed she is entering the race to become her party’s “common sense” London mayoral candidate.

Susan Hall announced on Tuesday evening that she would fight for the right to challenge Labour mayor Sadiq Khan on May 2 next year – and promised an immediate crackdown on crime if elected.

She also pledged to reverse the Ulez expansion to the Greater London boundary – which is due to happen on August 29 this year – on her first day in power.

She pledged to “hunt down and lock up burglars, muggers and thieves”, by creating a new Met Police unit dedicated to predicting and intercepting such crimes.

Her candidacy comes as Conservative Campaign Headquarters announced applications were now open for who wanted to run as the party’s candidate. The deadline for applications is May 24 and the party will announce its chosen candidate to take on Mr Khan on July 19.

CCHQ said its shortlisting process will present up to three candidates to London Conservative Party members.

Hustings will take place from June 12 to July 3, and members will then vote for their preferred candidate between July 4-18.

The Standard first revealed that Ms Hall was giving serious thought to standing, despite having recently lost the leadership of the Tory group on the London Assembly.

She told the Standard last Friday that she was ideally placed to mount a challenge to Mr Khan, who is seeking a record third term.

“So many things are wrong with what Sadiq Khan is doing in London,” she said. “Somebody has got to sort this bloody mess out.”

Ms Hall is a former leader of Harrow council who has been a London Assembly member since 2017. She also owns a small business in Harrow.

She believes her entry into the race places her as the “frontrunner” and says she has the “strength” to beat Mr Khan, whose two victories, in 2016 and 2021, have come with record numbers of votes, first for a new mayor and secondly for an incumbent.

She is the third member of the nine-strong Tory group at City Hall to put their hat in the ring, after Nick Rogers and Andrew Boff. Others who have declared an interest include Minister for London Paul Scully and Samuel Kasumu, a Tory councillor in Hertfordshire.

Ms Hall said there were too few prosecutions of mobile phone thefts. She said a specialist team would tackle such crimes “head on and dismantle the organised crime networks that fence stolen goods”.

She promised a “common sense environment plan” that would “clean the air without hitting the poorest”.

She rejected the idea of holding a Ulez referendum in each borough, giving residents a say on whether to remain within the zone. She said that, at a cost she claimed would be in excess of £3m, this was too expensive.

She warned that simply opposing Ulez would not provide a “golden ticket to City Hall” and the Tory party had to pitch more widely to Londoners.

Ms Hall said: “We need to beat Sadiq Khan, so we can get the police working again, stop punishing people with unfair taxes, and build a lot more homes in the right places.

“I am the only candidate with the strength and the experience to take him on and win. If I am chosen as your Conservative mayoral candidate, I will sort this mess out with a common sense plan to fix London.

“Not too long ago, London was a safer, happier and more tolerant city. It can be that again. If I am your candidate, we will get there.”

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