Kamall Confirms He’s Running

As Guido revealed two weeks ago, Syed Kamall is running for Mayor. He confirms today:

“I am really excited about the prospect of doing this. I’m a Londoner born and bred. I grew up here and I’ve always enjoyed fighting for our city.”

I look forward to having some robust conversations and debates over the coming months about the issues which affect our city. We need to tackle some of the most important things like housing and transport but we also need to ensure that everyone in our city enjoys the full fruits of London’s success.”

No Boris style coronation for Zac…

Kamall: I’m Still De-Syed-ing

zacsyed

Popular Tory MEP Syed Kamall is on the brink of declaring a bid to be the Tory candidate for Mayor of London.

Multiple sources report that Kamall spent the weekend speaking to MPs, councillors and London local organisers. Something he did not deny when Guido spoke to him on Monday morning.

The London MEP is head of the Tory group in Brussels as well as leader of European Conservatives and Reformists. While that does not sound very exciting in Westminster, it makes him a pretty important player in Brussels.

He was also expected to pay a significant role in Cameron’s EU renegotiation strategy.

Kamall tell Guido he “has lots of thinking to do”, and “lots of things to sort out”.

Guido understands that CCHQ campaign supremo Stephen Gilbert is keen to see ‘a proper fight’ for the Tory nomination, in order to engage the eventual winner with the party.

When Boris finally threw his hat in the ring in 2007, it was a coronation in all but name, but it was later felt that it took him a full term before he was properly integrated into the Tory machine.

The ever growing length of the Conservative timetable to choose their candidate -the result is now expected at conference –  helps any candidate that is not a popular, blonde, Old Etonion with the backing of Boris and Osborne and a stonking majority.

If Guido was a betting man he would put money on an announcement from Kamall by Wednesday…

Full Details of Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Mayoral Ballot

A south-west London based co-conspirator sends in Zac Goldsmith’s pitch for the mayoralty that went out today – quickly nicknamed the #RichmondReferendum.

All 77,071 voters in Richmond Park will receive this, and can reply by Freepost:

backzac

We should know what the people of Richmond have said by noon on 23 June.

There are further details here.

Guido’s not sure Zac is going to have much of a problem with this crowd, given that they returned him in May with a majority of 23,015…

#BackZac Is Go

ZAC

“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,” Zac Goldsmith has told the Standard.

“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.”

Zac will be conducting a postal ballot of his constituents to give them the final say on the run. As Guido reported two weeks ago, friends of Zac say: “He’ll only do it if he thinks it’s genuinely what his constituents want.” It’s not like he needs to  fund-raise for the Richmond Referendum either…

UPDATE: As revealed on Sunday by Guido: first hustings is 4 July.

Part-Time Khan: Bad Week for Sadiq

khan

April 2014:

Labour is planning to launch a full-scale assault on Boris Johnson, labelling him a man with two part-time jobs if he stands for a seat in the House of Commons before quitting as Mayor in 2016. Senior party sources say Ed Miliband is backing the attack, which would be spearheaded by shadow London  minister Sadiq Khan.

June 2015:

Sadiq Khan has told members that he will remain as MP for Tooting until 2020 even if he becomes Mayor of London.

Guido hears there is serious local concern that if Khan wins and forces a by-election, then the Tories will take the seat as they almost did in 2010 and 2015. Khan’s platform for Mayor is a seriously reduced majority as more yuppies and dinkies move to his gentrified constituency. Not a great sell.

Tellingly, his own CLP nominated both Khan and his deadly rival for the job Tessa Jowell…

UPDATE:

BoJo: We Must Be Willing to Go

EU REFORM

“Now is the chance to build that coalition for reform. It may not be easy, and it may take a while – beyond 2016, I am sure”, says Boris this morning. After telling the Telegraph he was against an early referendum, the Mayor dodged the question on whether he would resign when asked by Sky earlier:

“You’ve got to be able to walk away. Now the PM is going to be successful in the negotiations but if he doesn’t get the deal he wants he’s got to be open to Britain deciding there can be an alternative future.”

Helpful, when the PM is backtracking on last night’s “over-firm” briefing that “If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome.” Which seems to pre-judge the outcome…

Chuka Boris Flop

Ohhh, punchy.

Oh wait:

So Chuka seems to be saying Boris was meant to have seen his tweet and got to the chamber in exactly 2 minutes?

It’s insight that like that made him think he had a hope in hell of leading the Labour Party…

Zac Evens to be Tory Candidate for Mayor

ZAC

The latest odds from Ladbrokes have Zac Goldsmith favourite to be the Tory candidate for Mayor:

Conservative Mayoral Candidate
Evens Zac Goldsmith
5/1 Nick de Bois
8/1 Syed Kamall
10/1 Lord Coe
10/1 Karren Brady
10/1 Stephen Greenhalgh
10/1 Michael Bloomberg
16/1 Ivan Massow
20/1 Andrew Boff
25/1 Sol Campbell
Justine Greening should be on that list too, but as Guido reported on Sunday, Tories back Zac:

“The rollie-smoking multi-millionaire greeny has a growing following, increasing his majority in Richmond, South West London, from 4,091 to a stonking 23,015 at the election. Green Party peer Baroness Jones is also keen on the idea, saying many Greens “very much like that he comes across as very green and committed and passionate”. Zac has promised to resign his seat and force a by-election if the Government approves expansion of Heathrow Airport this summer, potentially giving him the perfect platform to launch a bid for City Hall. A friend says: “He’ll only do it if he thinks it’s genuinely what his constituents want.”

The race is beginning to rumble behind the scenes…

Boris Honeymoon Over as Hammond Slaps the New MP

If Boris thought he would be welcomed back into the parliamentary fray as a great statesman, he was quickly put in his place during Monday’s Queen’s Speech debate about Britain’s standing in the world:

Boris was quickly on his feet, trying to boost his foreign policy credentials:

“What can we do to prevent the appalling tragedy that might befall the great archaeological site in Palmyra, is there any hope he can offer?”

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond began courteously enough in his reply:

“I know my Honourable Friend is extremely concerned about this issue, but he will know that ISIL, for what it’s worth, have given some limited assurances about its intentions in regard to the site.”

But then he gave his potential rival a gentle slap:

“The problem of course is the principal instrument that the coalition has to deploy is air power, and he can well understand the difficulty of deploying air power to protect historical sites – that doesn’t make sense.”

Just as Boris will “well understand” a side swipe when he sees one…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Galloway Makes Good on Threat to Run for Mayor

He warned he would do it if he lost Bradford West, and today it’s confirmed:

Will it turn out to be a “most unwise” move?[…]

+ READ MORE +

BoJo: I am Back

Bow down… but seriously, check out that sexy look from Rees Mogg. Ohhh.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ivan-o Idea What I Pay My Staff

It all went a bit Natalie Bennett for wannabe Tory mayoral candidate Ivan Massow on LBC this evening:

When asked why he was calling for a London Living Wage yet paying his staff the minimum wage all Ivan could muster was: “oh God”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boris Tells Unionised Cabbies: “It’s Called the Free Market”

Ever the equal opportunity offender, Boris has evened up his dig at Uber by antagonising black cab drivers. He told a hostile audience of cabbies in the London Assembly public gallery:

“You are dealing with a huge economic force which is consumer choice and the taxi trade needs to recognise that. 

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ivan Massow Launch Strikes Sour Note

Some might say mocking up a £100,000 note with your face on it isn’t the best way for a millionaire politician to show he is in touch with the concerns of everyday people. Yet that is what optimistic Tory London mayor hopeful Ivan Massow has done:

Alas, the high production values of his launch video could not entirely compensate for the subject:

Ivan the Terrible…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Young, Bald Leadership Contender Unveils New Blonde Girlfriend

Where have we seen this before?

hague-fion

But is Chuka ready? Like Hague, is he going for it too early? […]

+ READ MORE +

Marr-vellous Ding Dong: Boris V Miliband

They might be doing it at PMQs every week soon…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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