Following Syed Kamall’s announcement on Friday, Zac Goldsmith has confirmed that he will seek the Conservative nomination in the contest to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London next year.

Goldsmith, whose father Sir James Goldsmith founded the Referendum Party and led it into the 1997 general election, has represented the South West London constituency of Richmond Park since 2010, when he captured it from the Liberal Democrats.

He dramatically extended his lead last month, adding just under 19,000 to his majority and bequeathing his successor a comfortable cushion should he win the nomination and resign his seat.

Almost 20,000 Richmond Park constituents took part in the postal ballot Goldsmith organised to secure their permission to run, with 79 per cent giving him the go-ahead.

An environmentalist and vocal Eurosceptic, Goldsmith’s candidacy broadens the spectrum of options available to the party selectorate, and offers the attractive prospect of securing Green second preferences in a city where they perform well.