Zac Goldsmith announces that he will run to be Tory candidate for Mayor of London

The Richmond Park MP has concluded a consultation with his constituents

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has officially announced that he will run to become his party’s candidate for Mayor of London.

Mr Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond Park, held a consultation with his constituents on whether he should enter the race.

Around 20,000 voters in his constituency responded to a local ballot organised by the MP, with around 79 per cent saying he should stand for the position and 3,569 saying he should not.

The independent-minded environmental campaigner is a strong opponent of Heathrow airport expansion.

"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,” he said.

"For five years I have campaigned hard on the issues that matter to my constituents, whether fighting to stop Heathrow expansion, pressing for free parking to help our small shops, stopping plans to charge people for enjoying Richmond Park, or campaigning to give voters more power over their MPs. I have seen how a campaigning MP can make a real difference."

On his campaign website he added: “I will work tirelessly to repay the faith of the people of Richmond Park and North Kingston, who have backed my run for Mayor - and to gain the trust of all Londoners.”

 

Mr Goldsmith is the only MP from his party to have so far declared interest in the position.

Other runners and riders competing include former footballer Sol Campbell and deputy mayor of policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh.

With elections due in 2016, the current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is not expected to stand for another term.

Labour is holding a contest to select its candidate for the position.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, who is seeking the Labour nomination, said: "Zac’s a nice guy.

"But has he shown he can walk with ordinary people, understand what it is like to be delayed by the Tube, or what it means to struggle on the minimum wage, or how to run a small business? I’m not sure he has demonstrated he has that ability.”

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