ConHome reports that the Tory candidate for London mayor will be selected after a three month campaign this summer and a vote in September. As ever, Guido brings you your runners and riders…
George Osborne: There have been rumours for a while that Osborne fancies it. Could he afford the pay cut from giving up his eight jobs? Is he even on the approved Candidates List or a member of the Conservative Party? One of, if not the only name big enough to make things interesting against Sadiq…
Ed Vaizey: The arch-Remainer has joked about standing and has the charisma to make it a fun race: “I will obviously thump Sadiq in an election if I choose to stand. When I win, I will continue Sadiq’s work”. He has also appeared to rule himself out, admitting: “I’m far too lazy to campaign.”
Justine Greening: Another big Remainer, she has been the front-runner among pundits so far. One of the few women in the running. Though hardly an inspiring choice, and would the Tories be able to defend her 1,500 majority if there was a by-election in Putney?
Gavin Barwell: Was sniffing around last year when he thought things were falling apart in Number 10. Would someone who couldn’t hold Croydon be able to win London? There are local whispers that Barwell now has his eye on Bob Stewart’s 15,000 majority Beckenham seat instead…
Shaun Bailey: London Assembly Member who is one of the few candidates with a backstory to rival Khan’s. Has been effective in his criticism of the mayor over knife crime.
Duwayne Brooks: Friend of Stephen Lawrence who was with him when he was murdered. Joined the Tories a couple of weeks ago and is being talked up by insiders. Has branded Sadiq “the worst mayor ever”. One to watch.
James Cleverly: Would be a good candidate. But he is rising quickly through the ranks at Westminster and it is hard to see why he’d give that up for what is going to be a very difficult contest for the Tories.
Munira Mirza: Former deputy mayor to Boris, she wrote compellingly for the Speccie a couple of months back about how stop and search is the best weapon in the fight against knife crime. The Tories have a real shortage of strong female candidates – indeed Mirza might be the only one.
Kulveer Ranger: Another former Boris adviser who was very effective in City Hall. Could he take the pay cut from running strategy and comms at Atos?
Syed Kamall: Time for a Brexiter mayor of London? Came second to Zac in the Tory nomination stakes last time round. Popular with true believers.
Nick de Bois: Former Enfield MP. CCHQ took his advice on bringing the selection forwards. Has outlined how he would beat Sadiq here.