Claims made by a London mayoral candidate that a station in Watford is under threat of closure have been rebuffed.

Conservative Shaun Bailey, who is rivalling Sadiq Khan to be the next mayor of London, visited Watford Met station on Tuesday, to discuss the doomed Metropolitan line extension with the town’s Tory MP Dean Russell.

While in Watford, Mr Bailey recorded a video stating that Mr Russell and his constituents are "very worried" about the closure of Watford Met, adding that "under Sadiq Khan’s poor management of TfL’s (Transport for London) finances, this station is now under threat".

The Observer has taken Mr Bailey’s comments to TfL – a spokesperson confirmed to us the station, which sits at the end of the Metropolitan Line, is not under threat of closure.

Watford Observer:

Watford Met station would have closed had the Met Line extension (MLX) project gone ahead.

Construction was underway to extend the Met Line to Watford Junction, creating two new stations near Watford Business Park and Vicarage Road – but Watford Met, by Cassiobury Park, would have shut.

But MLX was halted by Mr Khan in 2018 for financial reasons, despite then Watford MP Richard Harrington offering a £73m shortfall for the project.

And as a result, Watford Met has stayed open.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor has also rebuffed Mr Bailey’s claim.

He said: "There is no threat to Watford Met or plans to close it. When Boris Johnson was mayor of London, the Metropolitan Line extension would have resulted in the closure of the station. This was something Liberal Democrat councillors such as George Derbyshire campaigned against.

"The current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has scrapped that scheme. Now we need to press for a new scheme that provides this vital link between the Met line and Watford Junction station, while keeping Watford Met station open.

"The Conservatives either don’t understand the situation or are trying to mislead people."

Watford Observer:

Former MP Richard Harrington also campaigned against the closure of Watford Met.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mr Russell said: "As Shaun Bailey said, a huge number of transport infrastructure projects have been shelved in recent years and Watford has suffered as a result.

"Dean has been working for months to explore every and any option that would enable the Metropolitan Line Extension, or a comparable alternative, to go ahead.

"Dean has been speaking with Shaun Bailey, a front runner to become London mayor next year, to gain support for the extension whilst also making clear his preference that any plans should ensure Watford Met Station would remain open.

"Dean has actively lobbied on behalf of Watford commuters throughout the year and this initiative is part of ongoing discussions to ensure Watford has a transport system that works for all commuters."