The industry this week reacted with relief to construction minister Nick Raynsford’s withdrawal from the London mayoral race.

He dropped out to become campaign manager for former health secretary Frank Dobson, who announced his candidacy on Saturday.

Hugh Try, chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “I am sure he would have made an excellent mayor but it is even better for us that he continues to give an outstanding lead to the construction industry. There is a lot of work left to do – particularly in advocating change in the industry and changing the approach of government as a client.”

Construction Industry Council chairman Graham Watts took a more pragmatic view. He said: “The industry is going to lose him anyway and it is a silly attitude to mourn his loss. For the construction industry to have friends in high places in other ministerial jobs is quite important.”