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.”
Eurosceptic Tory MPs
Eurosceptic Tory MPs
1/7 Owen Paterson
Formerly a cabinet minister, Owen Paterson is now free to make his opinion known on the backbenchers. On the subject of Europe, he does so regularly – claiming recently that the EU referendum was “rigged” in favour of staying in
2/7 John Redwood
A longstanding eurosceptic, Mr Redwood warned last year that businesses that spoke out in favour of EU membership would be punished at the check-outs by anti-EU
3/7 Bill Cash
Awkward squad rebel Bill Cash said last year that he thought the EU had become an undemocratic, German-dominated project. “An increasingly assertive German Europe is at odds with British national interests,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph
4/7 Philip Davies
From the Conservative party’s hard right wing, Philip Davies has been a longstanding critic of the EU. He founded the Better off Out campaign and is so eurosceptic that Ukip decided not to stand a candidate against him in 2010 because they agreed with him
5/7 Nadine Dorries
Outspoken Tory MP Nadine Dorries has previously advocated an alliance with Ukip. At the height of the Greek crisis in 2013 she said that the EU was “dying on its feet”
6/7 Liam Fox
The former defence secretary is a central figure on the right wing of the Conservative party. He’s long put pressure on David Cameron over EU negotiations
7/7 Zac Goldsmith
A socially liberal eurosceptic, Goldsmith was one of the founding members of the People’s Pledge campaign to get MPs to sign up for an EU referendum. His father ran the Referendum Party, a precursor to Ukip
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.”Reuse content