Monitor: Reaction in the Sunday papers to the exclusion of Steven Norris from the Conservative Party's shortlist for Mayor of London


The Observer

Steven Norris has been treated disgustingly. In him the Tories had an intelligent, liberal, populist candidate-in-waiting for Mayor of London. Already the idea that he could come through and actually win was gaining ground. A paid-up member of the human race, Norris had been dubious about standing for a second, post-Archer contest, but had been persuaded by Tory bigwigs that, this time, they really wanted him. Instead, he has been kicked where it hurts. The Conservatives ought to be rising well in the polls. There are enough big questions over Europe, transport, schooling and health to give a half-decent Opposition the ammunition it needs to frightened this Government. Tony Blair leads a respectable Cabinet but they are hardly a team of political giants. Yet the Tories are making almost no impact. William Hague can no longer blame the 1997 landslide. Today, it is his fault. He is failing to lead an open and competent national party, and this latest spiteful act merely confirms it. On the evening of the next general election Mr Norris, we suspect, will have his revenge.

Sunday Express

The decision by the Conservative Party to block Steven Norris from standing in the contest to be London mayor is an affront to democracy and an insult to Londoners. Norris was by far the most outstanding candidate that the Tories had to offer and possessed the skill and the charisma to give Labour a run for its money. Instead, the Tories have whittled down the shortlist to an unappetising selection of worthy but drab individuals. Party spokesman were insisting last night that the decision was taken by a small group of Tory worthies. We take that claim with a pinch of salt. If William Hague had wanted Norris to stand, Norris would have stood. Hague must bear responsibility for the decision. It is fresh evidence that, for all his undoubted political talents, a question mark still surrounds the quality of his judgement.

The Sunday Telegraph

Mr Norris's more excitable friends allege that there was a campaign against him by a member of his former constituency party: a woman whose husband left her as Mr Norris abandoned his own wife. This, in the curious logic of the Norris camp, makes him the victim of vendetta by an obsessive woman. But might they not reflect that members are perfectly entitled to judge the character of those standing for election? Voters surely will.

The Independent on Sunday

At first it was funny, watching the Conservative Party tear itself apart over the nomination for Mayor of London. When Lord Archer withdrew, even supportive commentators admitted the selection process was degenerating into farce. Scenting disaster, senior Tory figures declined to step into the spotlight. Enter Teresa Gorman, ever the pantomime dame, stage right - only to be cast back into the wings two minutes later because of her Europhobia. With all the gravitas of a soap star playing Buttons, William Hague made a backstage plea for the former baddie Steven Norris to rescue the plot. It was a solution of sorts, although only Norris himself really believed he was the Prince Charming. Now it seems the Conservatives do not want a romantic lead after all. So the Tories are left with a cast of unknowns in comparison with whom the otherwise anonymous Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer now has the celebrity of a Spice Girl. It has gone beyond farce now. At a time when Labour politicians are so desperate to stick to their leader's script, the crumbling of Her Majesty's Opposition is not a joke but a tragedy.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before