Nicholas Boles and Lee Rotheram are both gently putting themselves about in Bournemouth. The Cameroonie insider and the Thatcherite outsider make a nice contrast.
On the left in the red corner Boles is listening to “your ideas about what it will take for a Conservative challenger for the London Mayoralty to defeat Ken Livingstone in 2008.”
He plans to visit every borough in London over the next few months to familiarise himself with the local issues. If in the meantime he is ‘Listening to Londoners’ on a Routemaster bus parked in the forecourt of the Trouville Hotel in Bournemouth today and tomorow. So far he has an image-only policy-free website.
In the blue corner, Lee Rotheram has clear policies and few images on his website; he wants less government, to ditch the congestion tax and like Thatcher before him, bin the office of Mayor of London. His policies are up onwww.NewStartforLondon.com. He tells Guido that he “won’t have a double decker so I’ll be hosting one-on-one Q&A sessions in the bar. Far more civilised, and less likely to get clamped.”
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”