Boris’ Painfully Awkward Wheelchair Gaffe

BoJo had his very own Joe Biden moment at the State of London debate last night:

Boris: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

Boris: “Sorry.”

Well at least he didn’t get everyone to “stand up for Nicholas…”

UPDATE: Boris’ side of the story is that he was in fact addressing Nick Ferrari, not Nick in the audience, and was asking Ferrari jokingly why he isn’t standing for Mayor. Guido has rewound the video so readers can make their own minds up:

NF: “How the hell does that work. You don’t want to see something so you buy it [water cannon].

BJ: “I don’t want to see nuclear weapons used, do you?”

NF: “No, but I didn’t buy them”

BJ: “Would you get rid of them?”

NF: “I’m not the mayor”

BJ: “Ahhhh”

NF: “Right we move to other questions. Nicholas at Docklands, where are you sir, can you wave at me? We’re over there, Mr Mayor. Go ahead Nicholas if you would, sir.”

BJ: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

BJ: “Sorry.”

We report, you decide. But it looks like this story doesn’t have legs…

Man of the People Sol Campbell: ‘I Have Used the Tube’

Having launched a thinly veiled dig at Zac Goldsmith’s ability to connect to Londoners earlier, it turns out the multi-millionaire former football star needs a little work on his whole ‘in touch’ act:

LBC: “Do you use the tube? Are you a regular user?”

Sol: “I’m not a regular user, but I have used it.”

It was a case of letting Sol dig his own mayoral grave on LBC this afternoon.

Zac’s Campaign Chair is Nick de Bois, Lynton’s CTF Advising

zac+nic

Guido hears that Zac has managed to secure the services of Nick de Bois, who is apparently going to chair and run Zac’s selection campaign. Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners are on hand to offer Zac advice on his campaign. For someone who was willing to put his fate in the hands of his electorate, Zac certainly seems serious about it now…

79%* of Goldsmith’s Constituents #BackZac

After Zac Goldsmith asked his constituents’ permission to run for Mayor of London in a postal vote, the numbers are in:

YES: 15,802 79%

NO: 3569 18%

Don’t Know: 503 2%

Spoilt: 16 

77,071 ballots sent out, 19,890 came before deadline. 25.8% turnout.

Zac is in the race.

UPDATE: Zac speaks:

“I am hugely grateful to the residents of Richmond Park and North Kingston for taking part in the ballot, and am overwhelmed by the mandate they have given me to run for Mayor… Having just been given the green light to run by my constituents, I have a lot of work to do to earn selection as the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor. I will work tirelessly to repay my constituents’ loyalty and to gain the trust of Londoners so we can make London an even greater and more liveable city.”

UPDATE II:

*Who expressed a preference.

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

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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 […]

+ READ MORE +

Chuka Boris Flop

Ohhh, punchy.

Oh wait:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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