UK Politics

Zac Goldsmith to run for London mayor

Zac Goldsmith Image copyright PA

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has announced his intention to stand for nomination as the party's candidate for London mayor.

The Richmond Park MP told the Evening Standard he would write to his constituents to seek their agreement.

He said he decided to put his hat in the ring after being urged to run by people "from across the political spectrum".

Boris Johnson is standing down in 2016, when fresh elections will be held.

On Monday, former England footballer Sol Campbell confirmed his intention to run to become the next Mayor of London.

The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender said he could "bring something new to the table" as he seeks the Conservative nomination.

Also in the running for the Tory candidacy are entrepreneur Ivan Massow, current deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh and London Assembly member Andrew Boff.

They will take part in a hustings event for the Tory nomination on 4 July.

'Up to them'

Announcing his intention to stand, Mr Goldsmith told the Evening Standard that he wanted to "mend our politics".

Transport, housing, policing, the environment and High Streets will be among the key issues that his campaign will focus on.

The MP said he wanted to gauge the opinion of his constituents first, and would ballot them to give them the final say over whether he should run or not.

He was returned to Parliament at the 2015 general election with a majority of 23,015 - up from 4,091 in 2010.

"I have just been re-elected as MP and it's important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for mayor. They must have the right to say no and it is now up to them to decide without interference," he told the newspaper.

Heathrow

Mr Goldsmith said the capital needed a mayor who could both work with government but "stand up" to it "when it gets things wrong".

A long-standing campaigner against Heathrow expansion, he threatened to resign and trigger a by-election if the government agreed to build a new runway in the west London airport.

Mr Goldsmith was also highly critical of the government's plans for recall of MPs last year, saying voters had been "duped" by ministers and accusing David Cameron of behaving "appallingly".

He put forward a rival plan to give the public a greater role in removing errant MPs from office - but it was defeated by the House of Commons.

Mr Goldsmith is the son of the late billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, who formed the Eurosceptic Referendum Party.

The 40-year-old MP is married to Alice Rothschild and the couple have a daughter, Dolly. He also has three children with former wife, Sheherazade.

More on this story