Watford mayor admitted she "hasn’t made her mind up" about running for parliament next year - even if she is re-elected for a fourth term at town hall this week.

Dorothy Thornhill was pushed on the issue at a hustings debate last night, where she described her parliamentary ambitions as "probably Watford’s worst kept secret".


But yesterday the Liberal Democrat said she still could not give a definitive if she’ll stand for MP next year - three days before Watford residents head to the polls to potentially return her for her fourth term as mayor.

At the mayoral hustings, she said: "It’s very flattering to think that they actually think I’m going to win this election and the next one and therefore it’s going to cause all these problems.

"But at the moment I have not made up my mind, there are certain factors in my life - both personal and to do with my colleagues that make it not possible to say so."

The elected mayor said she was being "encouraged" by elements of her party to run for parliament and would make up her mind in her own time.

She continued: "So therefore, if there is anyone who feels I’d really like to vote for Dorothy but I’m not going to do so if she’s not going to be mayor for four years, then obviously they must exercise their own judgement on that regard.

"But as I say, I am immensely flattered that people think that is the case, but I will make up my own mind in my own time because there are personal things that I need to consider and certainly the ultimate decision is down to my party and members of my party in Watford."

Her comments came during a difficult 2014 Mayoral Hustings hosted by Christians Across Watford yesterday.

Meanwhile the other three mayoral candidates - Conservative Linda Topping, Labour’s Jagtar Singh Dhindsa and Phil Cox for UKIP -  all pledged to stand for the full four years.

During the debate Councillor Dhindsa said the fact the Liberal Democrats were pushing Mayor Thornhill to stand for Parliament as well as mayor reflected poorly on the party.

He added: "The other thing I think it doesn’t give a good image of the Liberal Democrats they’ve got 20 odd councillors - can’t they find another person to do the parliamentary?

"Why does the same person have to keep going for 12 years?

"Why - if she’s that good then even doing that - don’t put her up for a parliamentary seat.

"And Dorothy hasn’t been honest with the residents of Watford by saying whether she’ll do one or the other. Well I say the Lib Dems should have another person in there who can do that role. We’ve chosen ours and you’ve got me for four years."

Watford Observer:

Councillor Jagtar Singh Dhindsa.

Mr Cox revealed he wasn’t planning on running for a second term should he be elected as Watford's mayor.

He said: "I commit to standing for the full four years as mayor. I can’t get any simpler than that. I don’t think I’d want to do a second term, but I would stand for a full four years without any doubt whatsoever."

Conservative, Mrs Topping, added: "I considered it an absolute privilege to have been selected to stand for mayor. I would consider it an even bigger privilege if elected. If elected I would run for the full four years."