Conservative Party MP for Richmond Zac Goldsmith has announced he will run for London Mayor next year.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the son of eurosceptic royalty James Goldsmith said that he will consulted his parliamentary constituents before running. It would make him the third London mayor after Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson, all of which have at some point been a Member of Parliament and London Mayor concurrently.
The Standard reports:
The charismatic MP and environmentalist said he wants to stand as Boris Johnson’s successor after being urged to do so by people “from across the political spectrum” – providing his Richmond Park constituents agree.
His move comes a week after Haringey Labour leader Claire Kober warned that Mr Goldsmith’s broad appeal could sink her party’s hopes of reclaiming the mayoralty in 2016 if he stood.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening Standard he claimed could get the best deal for London as an independent-minded Conservative.
Stopping a third runway at Heathrow airport and cleaning up London’s environment would be among key policies if he is picked as official Tory candidate.
“London needs a Mayor who can work with Government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the Government when it gets things wrong,” he said.
In a unique exercise, the Tory MP is spending tens of thousands of pounds on a postal ballot to give his Richmond Park constituents the last word on whether he runs or not.
He said: “I have just been re-elected as MP and it’s important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for Mayor. They must have the right to say no and it is now up to them to decide without interference.”
Goldsmith is less eurosceptic than his father, and is said to be a close, personal friend of UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, who he helped swear into Parliament after the Clacton MP won his by-election last year.