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Comments

Dan Bonera

An interesting idea. People like Simon Milton and Eddie Lister could do the job far better than Livingstone on the basis of the real experience of delivering public services at grass roots level.

The problem is the Party is looking for someone telegenic and fits in with Cameron's brand of 'New' Conservative Party.

Mark Wadsworth

I must admit that I had not heard of Sir Simon before now, but having done five minutes research, he would appear to be a potentially winning candidate. Aristeides has really done his homework!

Phil Taylor

I have been a bit negative this week but I just love this idea. Milton for Mayor has a great ring to it.

John

A good suggestion. I wonder if a 'Sir' could ever get elected?

Londoner

John
If it makes any difference to your reservation about a "Sir", it is a knighthood he got for services to local govt as Leader of Westminster Council - not some ancient baronetcy or anything. But I dare say he could campaign as plain Simon.

He clearly has a much more distinguished record than the existing declared Councillor candidates but people are right that he has tended to be low profile in the media outside the City of Westminster. So he'd need to show early on that he is prepared to do, and is good at, the media stuff.

I wouldn't immediately commit to support him in the "primary" straight off, but I do think it would be an excellent addition to the field if he decided to show an interest.

Londoner

Does UPIP have a view on this? (Sorry, only joking.)

Jill Murray

"However, if I were David Cameron, I would be doing whatever it takes to persuade him to do so"

If I were David Cameron, I would be doing whatever it takes to persuade Steve Norris to do so.

Brian Jenner

Sir Simon Milton is a likeable, decent politician who understands the problems facing the Conservative Party. He's a good manager of people and, even after running Westminster Council for seven or so years, he's got his feet on the ground and a good sense of humour.

He's small in stature and a quiet speaker. He hasn't said anything that is going to set the world alight so far, but that can change.

He was a protegee of Dame Shirley as a very young man, which would be used against him. He's had some persistent negative coverage in Private Eye over the past year or so. He's worked as a lobbyist, which tends to arouse the suspicions of journalists. But he's liked by his colleagues and he's impressed me with his integrity and accessibility.

I would pick him, if he wants it. He's not going to win, but he's probably the best the Conservative Party has got, and he proves the Tories can put up a capable, solid and sensible candidate which will pay dividends in the future. He's the polar opposite of Jeffrey Archer and Steve Norris.

His backstory is inspiring. His family has run a business in London and he has overcome a very serious illness. His health can suffer when doing heavy campaigning. For that reason he might choose not to run if selected. However he should have a big role in any future Cameroon administration.

James Harper

"But I dare say he could campaign as plain Simon."

Hardly, Livingstone would endlessly call him "Sir. Simon."

Haven't the Conservatives got anyone of the same stature as Livingstone. I'm sure if they quit the arrograntly-imposed and politically naive arbitrary timetable they imposed and had a sensibly-timed campaign, they could get someone who was well known and knew how to run in a race this size.

Matt Davis

Simon Milton is an genuinely excellent Council Leader but whether that qualifies him as a candidate who can beat Livingstone, as opposed to someone who could patently run London better than the incumbent, is the key question.Personally I remain unconvinced that he could win sadly, because he is exactly the right person to undertake the actual job of being Mayor.Ultimately this all goes to show the appalling state of political life in Britain, and especially London, these days. We have allowed a situation to develop where the best person for a vital job is not even vaguely the best person to win the election for that job.

Karen Thomas

"I refer, of course, to Sir Simon Milton, Leader of Westminster City Council since 2000."

This is a bit of a let down after all the build up... where are the serious candidates of whom Livingstone is afraid?

John Moss

At a London Policy meeting on Monday he categorically ruled himself out, so I guess he's very definitiely up for it.

Livingstone is beatable if we campaign on our terms from now. The London Plan is about turning the suburbs into dormitories for public sector workers and carpeting the place with high density small flats. It is even possible to suggest that the reason there are 12 BNP Councillors in Barking & Dagenham is because of Livingstone dictating housing policy contrary to local needs.

London activists need to stop thinking 2007 is a "year off" and get to grips with local issues and team building and start their serious campaigning from the August Bank Holiday.

The 2008 elections are then the starting point for a two year campaign on key issues upto the Council elections in 2010. You can't win elections in March and April!

Paul Baker

Sadly it is all a hopeless cause no matter who is the candidate, bearing some castrophe Livingstone is likely to romp home to a third term.

We should be campaigning for the abolition of the office of Mayor and the assembly, afterall we are meant not to believe in regional assemblies.

Hopefully when we do get back in office we will again abolish London Government and give power back to the Boroughs. It will also help cut the Council tax along with the waste that the GLA produces.

The soooner the better in my view.

Opinicus

Vote to abolish the Mayor and GLA and cut taxes and the congestion charge.
Incremental improvement is as sexy as Norah Batty.

Labour has the candidate but no policies, we have the policies but...

Andrew Clarke

After all the build up and "mystery" (why won't you reveal yourself "Aristeides," what are you afraid of?), comes the big let down.

No-one thinks Sir. Simon would beat Livingstone. This election is, er, just a little more complex than winning in true blue Lancaster Gate ward as a councillor.

That said, John Bird doesn't even have that pitiful amount of experience.

Frank Taylor

London's Giuliani Sir Simon is not.

Is Steve Norris up for it?

Richard Weatherill

"Is Steve Norris up for it?"

Invariably, I believe ...

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