Veteran politician Rifkind yesterday announced that he was resigning as head of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee after becoming embroiled in the “cash for access” scandal along with Jack Straw.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Ladbrokes gave odds for celebrities including James Cracknell, Sol Campbell and Kirstie Allsopp.
Paxman, who has been identified by residents as a Kensington local, says he was invited by David Cameron to discuss the idea of becoming the Conservative party’s candidate for Mayor of London last year. He later said he wouldn’t take the job for “all the eclairs in Paris.”
Last year Paxman announced that he sees himself as a “one-nation Tory” and said that “the closer you can take decision-making to the people affected, the better”, fuelling rumours that he may launch a career in politics.
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
1/12 On his political allegiance:
"I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes."
2/12 On horse comparisons:
"I've spent my whole life being told I have a face like a horse. You are just what you are, aren't you?"
3/12 On his dream woman:
"I would be very happy to go cycling with Sigourney Weaver."
4/12 On Tony Blair:
"He had a barrister's ability to master a brief. When you have that amazing command of detail and a messianic faith, it makes you slightly dangerous."
5/12 On sneering:
"I hate the word 'sneering', I can't help the way my face looks."
6/12 On fitting in:
"I've always felt myself to be an outsider. I've always felt awkward."
7/12 On beard phobia:
“Unless you’re lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha."
8/12 On newsreader Huw Edwards:
"Huw Edwards can come across like some evangelical preacher on a wet Sunday morning in Merthyr Tydfil, and indeed, most of the earnest prophets of news claim merely to be passing on a greater truth."
9/12 On Twitter:
"Twitter? This is an activity for people who have got nothing going on in between their ears, or nothing going on in their lives."
10/12 On English progressiveness:
"The English approach to ideas is not to kill them, but to let them die of neglect."
11/12 On conscientious objectors:
"To be honest extreme conscientious objectors have always struck me as cranks."
12/12 On the problems with Marks & Spencer underwear:
"I have noticed that something very troubling has happened. There's no other way to put this. Their [Marks and Spencer's] pants no longer provide adequate support."
A local told the Telegraph he could be a contender, saying: "He would have to give up his job for Channel Four in the election but he lives in the borough."
Conservative Central Office will give local members three candidates to choose between.
Olympic rower Cracknell has already tried his hand at politics but so far his Conservative career has consisted of failing to clinch the Bexhill and Battle seat in East Sussex and the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, which Boris Johnson won.
He stood in the European Parliamentary elections in May, third on the list of Conservative MEP candidates in the South West constituency, but was not elected.
One source said that he had an advantage with the general election so close because there were “no skeletons” in his closet. His wife, TV presenter and Telegraph columnist Beverley Turner backed this up in a tweet.
Beverley Turner (@beverleyturner) February 24, 2015
Other public figures put forward for the seat include ex-footballer Sol Campbell, current footballer Frank Lampard and ex-England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, while TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp has ruled herself out.
Allsopp said she doubted Kensington could get a better MP than Rifkind and that the seat needed more than a "pretty face".
Oh bugger it, I might as well say it - Malcolm Rifkind is my local MP & I doubt very much they'll manage to replace him with someone better.Kirstie Mary Allsopp (@KirstieMAllsopp) February 24, 2015
@GuidoFawkes My borough needs serious minds for serious times, not pretty faces looking for a career change.Kirstie Mary Allsopp (@KirstieMAllsopp) February 24, 2015
Sir Malcolm, the former defence secretary, stepped down yesterday after it emerged this weekend that he had been filmed by undercover reporters. He was recorded boasting that he could see any foreign ambassador in the world and that he would charge "somewhere in the region of £5,000 to £8,000" for half a day's workReuse content