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…