Zac Goldsmith to run for London mayor

9th June, 2015 1:56 pm

Zac Goldsmith has announced he is standing to be the Conservative candidate for mayor of London.

Zac_Goldsmith_MP_at_'A_New_Conversation_with_the_Centre-Right_about_Climate_Change'

The Tory MP for Richmond Park will compete against the current deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh, Conservative assembly member Andrew Boff, entrepreneur Ian Massow and former England footballer Sol Campbell for the nomination.

There has been a lot of speculation about Goldsmith’s intentions. He has widely been regarded as a threat to Labour. Claire Kober, Labour leader of Haringey Council,  called him the “the greatest potential obstacle to Labour winning City Hall” in Progress magazine. She wrote: “I fear his appeal is likely to stretch beyond west London and that he will pick up Liberal Democrat and Green second preferences across the capital.”

Similarly, last July LabourList columnist Sunny Hundal warned that Goldsmith could hold on to City Hall for the Tories.

Despite being the son of a millionaire financer, Goldsmith is not seen as a typical Tory. He is a former editor of The Ecologist magazine (which his uncle founded) and opposes the expansion of Heathrow airport.

On announcing his candidacy, he told the Evening Standard that he had been urged by people “from across the political spectrum” to run.  He has promised to ballot his constituents to seek their agreement he should stand.

Current Mayor Boris Johnson is standing down next year; the election will take place on the 5th May. Eight people have put their name forward to be Labour’s candidate – the six main candidates are Diane Abbott, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy and Gareth Thomas.

The nominations process closes tomorrow – candidates need at least five nominations from Labour constituencies in London and at least one nomination from affiliates to make it through to the next stage of the contest. The shortlist will be announced on Saturday.

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