Nick de Bois is the former member of Parliament for Enfield North.
Under Boris’s mayoralty, London has once again become the top world city.
He has attracted business and investment creating jobs and opportunities, he has secured the funds for major transport improvements to make our commutes quicker and more reliable, he has cracked down on crime making our neighbourhoods safer. He is delivering on his promises.
With Zac Goldsmith formally declaring his candidacy, with the backing of his constituents, we now have the best opportunity to continue that progress and ensure that, as Zac put it yesterday, London works for Londoners.
Zac achieved one of the biggest increases in majority of any MP at the General Election. This is, of course, evidence of his electoral appeal but, more importantly for Londoners, is also evidence of how he has delivered for his constituents.
While Westminster is understandably pre-occupied with national issues, Zac’s endorsement by his constituents had much more to do with his tireless campaigning locally.
Yes, much is known of Zac’s environmental activism and his fight against Heathrow expansion. But I am backing Zac because of his commitment to his constituents and the integrity he has demonstrated in Parliament, where I served alongside him on the Government backbenches.
Before the 2010 election, he promised residents he’d ensure controversial and unpopular proposals to introduce parking charges in the hugely popular Richmond and Bushy Parks would be scrapped. He delivered. He later campaigned for Richmond Council to introduce free 30 minute parking to help local businesses.
This was something that many MPs at the time, myself included, campaigned for but often without much success. But Zac delivered.
After very serious cuts were announced for Kew Gardens, he persuaded the Government to step in with a two year reprieve for this national treasure and now he is pressing for a long term funding plan.
I saw first hand his tireless campaigning when he gave his full support to me in securing changes to knife crime laws and knife crime sentencing, at one point even in the face of opposition from our own party hierarchy.
In Parliament he has shown that he sticks to his principles, yet manages to balance supporting our Party’s efforts to repair our economy with holding the Government to account on behalf of constituents, whom he never hesitated to champion.
Indeed, his decision to ask their permission before running for Mayor shows that he knows who he works for.
Be in no doubt, it will be a very tough fight to win in London and make sure we continue to build on Boris’s progress. Labour will fight tooth and nail to get their hands back on the capital’s coffers.
It will require a coalition of people, including many who would not normally vote Conservative which is why Zac, who can clearly reach those voters, is my choice.
Nothing will trouble Labour more than having to take on an independent-minded, likeable, and above all else proven opponent such as Zac has demonstrated himself to be.
I am delighted to have been invited to chair his campaign for Mayor, but we need your help to make this happen. To help build on the progress under Boris by backing Zac, we want to build a broad base of supporters and campaigners from across London.
If you want to be part of this team, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.