It’s a little surprising that while Labour figures have been jockeying for months for the chance to fight to 2016 London Mayoral election, there has been near-silence on the Tory side of things.
That’s partly because Boris took so long to confirm that he intends to return to the Commons – until he committed to fight Uxbridge there was always the possibility he might stay on for a third term. It’s also because some of the potential candidates have kept quiet while seeking parliamentary candidacies as an alternative. Still more are concerned the party isn’t all that interested in the campaign yet, and that central brinkmanship might cost us the election.
But now the starting gun has been fired – by none other than Ivan Massow.
I don’t think that Massow is a convincing candidate. He has previously backed New Labour, run an independent campaign for the mayoralty in 2004 (which he eventually called off) and modestly wrote to David Cameron in 2009 asking to be a candidate (simultaneously telling The Times that he wanted to be a Secretary of State).
Previously he was best known for supporting fox hunting (not prevalent in London) and opposing Section 28 (rightly resolved), but today a comment piece in the Evening Standard does lay out a bit more detail. In summary he wants a) a rise in the threshold for Stamp Duty, b) a new tax on tourism and c) more fiscal devolution for London.
Perhaps most notably, though, in the accompanying interview he cites his status as a “loose cannon” as an asset. As a Venn diagram might show, some good candidates for London Mayor are loose cannons, but most loose cannons are not good candidates for London Mayor.
However, he has performed one public service – opening the race for the nomination. Who will be next?