Zac Goldsmith has performed a u-turn after months and even years of denials by announcing his bid to run for City Hall in next year’s Mayor of London election.

The MP for Richmond Park and north Kingston is one of the most successful MPs in Greater London being re-elected to Parliament in May with an increased majority of more than 23,000.

But after months of speculation, today he revealed plans to run in next year’s mayoral election.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, which has run article after article suggesting he may run, Mr Goldsmith said: “London needs a Mayor who can work with Government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the Government when it gets things wrong.”

Conservative Mr Goldsmith has been outspoken about his opposition to expansion at Heathrow, and his willingness to defy the Government if necessary by triggering a by-election if the green light was granted.

But speaking about his decision to run for Mayor of London, Mr Goldsmith told the Standard he would write to all his constituents to see whether they would be happy for him to do so.

He said: “I have just been re-elected as MP and it’s important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for Mayor.

"They must have the right to say no and it is now up to them to decide without interference."

Speaking on Friday, Richmond Council’s deputy leader Councillor Geoffrey Samuel said Mr Goldsmith would be an “excellent candidate” for Mayor of London.

He said: “He would be an excellent candidate but, if I was in his position, I probably wouldn’t stand – if he is elected, he would have to give up being an MP.

“He has great charisma and political feel but I would think very carefully about it.”

Mr Goldsmith would have to win the vote from Tory members before being selected as their candidate.

Former England, Spurs and Arsenal footballer Sol Campbell has also said he wants to be the Tory candidate.


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Stories linking Zac Goldsmith with City Hall go as far back as 2009 when he said: "I’m flattered to be included, but there’s no chance. I want to represent Richmond Park."

He is not the first to adopt the denial tactic. Tooting MP Sadiq Khan waited until after the election, when he discovered Labour would not be running the country, before announcing his bid. He had hinted at a run as far back as September 2013 saying he might run: "If the ball came loose at the edge of the box and I thought I had the best chance of scoring a goal I'd probably shoot." 

In April last year Zac Goldsmith scotched a rumour he would do a 'job-swap' with Boris Johnson who was then rumoured to be looking for a safe Tory seat to become an MP again, ahead of a possible leadership run.

Asked about taking a run at Mayor of London he said: "I want to be a great MP for Richmond and North Kingston."

During a visit to the Poppy Factory in October last year, current mayor Boris Johnson, hinted Mr Goldsmith could replace him in City Hall. Speaking during an interview with LBC, Mr Johnson said: “It won’t be me [in City Hall] but could well be someone else in this room.

Responding at the time to the comment, Mr Goldsmith told the Richmond and Twickenham Times: “I’m not looking to run as Mayor.

"I love the work I do representing my home area, and I’m hoping residents will back me for another term."

But last month he gave a hint that his stance may be softening when he defended Boris from having two jobs - MP and Mayor of London - by suggesting that it was no different from an MP serving in the Government.

That logic would allow Zac to run London and be MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston.