Given that Zac Goldsmith once likened the possibility of himself running for City Hall to ‘a suicide mission‘, it comes as little surprise that not everyone in the Tory camp is ecstatic about the Richmond Park MP’s rumoured London mayoral bid.
Mr S understands that there are concerns that after Labour increased its control of the capital in the general election, the Old Etonian, who is currently the odds-on favourite to be the Conservative candidate, may be viewed as too posh to appeal to the more diverse London boroughs. As a result, Steerpike hears that there is growing support in the Conservative camp for Syed Kamall to go for the top job.
As the working-class son of a bus driver, the Conservative MEP comes without Goldsmith’s Old Etonian baggage, but with the EU referendum looming Kamall, who has been vocal about the need for renegotiation, may decide that he needs to focus on Europe.
However, with Labour heavyweights Diane Abbott, Tessa Jowell and Sadiq Khan all expected to run, the Tories may struggle to find someone with enough star power if Goldsmith doesn’t enter the race. The only candidate yet to announce for the Conservatives is Ivan Massow, whose campaign has so far been rather lacklustre. Nick de Bois, Andrew Boff and Sol Campbell are all also rumoured to be considering running.
Of course, anyone who does decide to run will also need to face off George Galloway, who has confirmed he will be running on behalf of his Respect Party. Surely it’s time for Galloway’s arch-nemesis Louise Mensch to make a swift return to both Britain and politics?