Paul Tavares is an entrepreneur. He stood as a council candidate in Camden last month and is seeking the Conservative nomination to be Mayor of London.

By its very nature, aspiration is subjective to everyone, but there exists one common thread that consistently binds every definition, that of ‘opportunity’.

Conservatism embraces a core belief – the empowerment of the individual by giving them the opportunities they need to succeed through their own endeavours. That is why the Conservative Party seeks to offer people the opportunities they need to fulfil their aspirations, whatever they may be, and for their success to be ultimately determined on its own merits.

Indeed, meritocracy lies central to Conservatism. That is why we Conservatives believe that irrespective of who you are, what you are, or where you come from, you should be judged equally and fairly on your worthiness and your ability to deliver results. That is why I have taken the decision to stand for selection as the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London in 2020.

London Needs Change

This is not a decision I take lightly but as I look around London, I despair at what I see – a city divided and a society increasingly plagued with anger, hatred, division, and intolerance. A city gripped in fear as violent crime begins to spiral out of control. I am passionate about our city and I will not, I cannot, stand idly by and allow this to continue any longer.

We, as Londoners, need change and we need it now. But to bring about that positive change, we must firstly win the London Mayoral election in 2020. It is widely accepted that the Conservative Party must put forward a positive vision for the future in the 2020 London mayoral campaign. But that, in itself, is not enough to win.

When you talk to Londoners, it becomes abundantly clear that people want someone to believe in. However, to win the mayoral election, it’s important to understand that ordinary Londoners do not trust the political establishment or the social elite to run this city in their best interests. Moreover, Londoners at this moment in time do not want a ‘Tory politician’ running their city.

This poses quite a dilemma for the Conservative Party during the candidate selection process. Whilst many wonderful and highly respected politicians have been linked with the party’s mayoral candidacy, each of whom would make excellent Mayors in their own right, I’m sure the simple yet difficult truth is this: they will lose the Mayoral election.

They will lose because irrespective of what they say or do, they will be immediately tarnished by our party’s toxic brand. The only thing Londoners will see is another career politician – a Tory politician – nothing more.

The only way we, as Conservatives, can hope to win the capital back in the London Mayoral election is if we offer Londoners something radically different, whilst remaining true to our Conservative principles. Something or someone that will spark people’s imagination. A candidate that will not only inspire traditional Conservative voters to come out and vote but who can persuade those from across the entire political spectrum to believe in and vote for them.

But if we fail to think beyond the pale of conventional thinking rather than thinking creatively the mayoral election result will be all but assured.

A Vision for London

The role of Mayor of London is a greatly privileged one. With the right person leading our city, we can change the lives of millions of people across London in a deep and fundamental way for the better whilst delivering unprecedented prosperity to the city. As a city and a people, we can achieve so much more.

But far too many Londoners today have given up on the hope and belief they can fulfil their life’s aspirations – to own their own home, to achieve their career ambitions and be well rewarded financially, to enjoy life and yet still give something back to society. With strong leadership, strategic insight, and bold yet innovative vision, we can change that. I can change that. And so to Londoners, I offer a bold vision supported by ambitious yet pragmatic policies that will transform London for the better and the benefit of all.

The Conservative Candidate Selection Process

I am not a high-profile Conservative politician, nor the CEO of a multinational company, or indeed a famous celebrity with an army of devoted fans and an established national media presence.

Naturally, some will see that as a barrier to success. In fact, it’s a positive advantage that offers our party a unique opportunity, one that presents us with a genuine chance of winning the Mayoral election in 2020 and for the Conservatives to show the people of this country that it is truly the party of aspiration – not only in words but in actions.

Good intentions, in their own right, are not enough to succeed. However, I firmly believe to my core that I have the life, professional and personal skills, and the experience needed to solve many of the critical challenges we face as a city.

I also possess the creative and innovative vision needed to inspire an entire city of people across the political divide. Furthermore, given my background, I can overcome the prejudices many Londoners will have towards other Conservative candidates.

That is why I can beat Sadiq Khan in the 2020 London mayoral election.

I look forward to being judged by my peers during the Conservative candidate selection process on the merits of what I will do for the party – deliver victory.