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ARCHER CAN RUN FOR MAYOR SAY TORIES

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Lord Archer's bid to become London's first elected mayor has been given the all-clear by the Tory leadership amid a...
Lord Archer's bid to become London's first elected mayor has been given the all-clear by the Tory leadership amid accusations that 'juvenile' party officials have been conducting a covert campaign to

stop the novelist from standing.

The Conservatives' nominee will be chosen in a postal ballot of party members in London, with no restriction on any individuals hoping to enter the race. This decision is certain to be contrasted by the

Tories with efforts by the Labour leadership to weed out mavericks, such as ken Livingstone before members are allowed to make their choice.

Shadow environment secretary Gillian Shephard said: 'We are lucky to have a range of excellent candidates from which to choose and that certainly includes Jeffrey Archer. We want a genuinely open contest and unattributable briefings about any member of the Conservative Party are unhelpful and juvenile'.

And Sunday Business (p2) quotes Lord Archer as quashing rumours he might stand as an independent. 'I will not stand as an independent if the party selects someone else', he declared.

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