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London Salmon

Oh no, he won't. If this man runs will the last person to leave London please turn the light off.

Tim Roll-Pickering

So Norris has seen the light and wants to pull out of the EU? Fine. But since when was a commitment to leave it all that stood between him and victory?

Have we really got no other big names?


The Steve Norris interview on Iain Dale's blog is worth watching. He is characteristically honest and frank about the EU and its shortcomings, to the horror of his neo-Cameroon interviewer.

When an experienced heavyweight politician like Steve Norris says we must leave the EU, our activists must take note. He cannot be dismissed as a fruitcake or nutter. Steve Norris for Mayor!!


Really, so we why didnt he win the last two elections then?

Graham D'Amiral

If Steve Norris is going to put his name forward then it is good news for the contest. We might well decide it is time for a new candidate but someone of the calibre of Steve Norris will certainly force his opponents to raise their game and perhaps flush out more serious players.

Asking why he didn't win last time is like saying why didn't michael howard become PM in 2005. Study both the general election in 2005 and last years local elections and the evidence that London has swung heavily to the conservatives since the last mayoral election in 2004 is overwhelming. This time is the best chance we've ever had of electing a conservative Mayor.


Steve Norris put a better fight against Livingstone than any other candidate could have.

His first campaign was undermined by the Lord Archer fiasco. His second campaign was run by Mark Macgregor..... Even so, he was backed nearly all the press, including the Daily Mirror!

London voters are increasingly fed up with the expanding congestion charge, higher bus and tube fares etc. They want a change.

To put up an unknown against Livingstone would sheer folly. Steve is experienced and, more importantly, known and liked by voters.

Chris Heathcote

"He would scrap the congestion charge zone altogether, scrap bendy buses, reinstate Routemaster buses, tax company car parking spaces, ban goods vehicles from the streets at peak times..." sounds like an exact repeat of all the things he pledged at the last two Mayoral elections, which he lost. We really need to get someone new, it's shaminng that this late in the day there is no one credible. It angers me that none of the GLA members are up the job and we have to rely on candidates from Hove. It's looking increasingly like Ken will be leaving his job at a time totally of his choosing.

Dan Bonera

I think Norris needs to have a campaign team which involves some of the more experienced Conservative council leaders from places like Wandsworth & Westminster. That we he can demonstrate that he has a team capable of delivering for London if he took office. For those saying that Norris shouldn't be the Conservative candidate.. well who should be then?


The problem for Steve Norris is that in 2004 voters in west London voted for Conservative LA members but for Livingstone as Mayor: the LA/Mayoral results in east London were far more consistent. Unless he could remedy his unpopularity in west London he'd be in line for a third defeat if selected as the Tory candidate.

Matthew Hunter

Steve Norris shows in this interview why he is an accomplished professional campaigner, and in a totally different league from the non-entities who have squeaked their names.

Current and ex-councillors like Victoria Borwick and Nicholas Bowles couldn't come close to putting in this kind of performance.

Neither could win and neither understands how. Victoria just mouths all the ideas she learnt from Steve Norris, but lacks the intellect to add her own. Bowles seems to think saying "we've changed" and getting excitable about David Cameron (not something that interests voters in a potential Mayor) is the right way to go. Neither has remotely credible experience, as a campaigner or as a chief executive.

It's pretty clear what the party needs.

Matt Davis

Steve Norris would make an excellent Mayor, infinitely better than any other option including Livingstone. However last time out he ran an appalling campaign which left it too late to get going and deliberately ignored vast swathes of London concentrating only on what McGregor thought would be the strongest areas, that patently didn't work.If Norris is to be the candidate then he absolutely MUST be provided with both the experienced campaign team and the funding to run a proper London wide campaign from the word go. He will also need to clearly demonstrate a total committment to his campaign, which again last time he didn't by virtue of being badly distracted by his day job at Jarvis.

We must not make the elementary error of thinking that because the London Boroughs are coming over to the Conservatives then then Mayoralty will naturally do so as well. There is clear psephological evidence that the voters will vote Tory for their Borough and the GLA but then vote for the Mayoralty on personality and the perception of Livingstone as an independent maverick. This is not going to be a contest between the parties it is a contest between individuals and that is why the candidate is so very very important.

Denis Cooper

While Cameron emphasises the importance of stable families, a man who is (allegedly) a serial adulterer puts himself forward to be the Tory candidate for London mayor. Double standards, anybody?

Fiona James

Can we have a better photo that?

He's much better looking in real life.

Cllr Peter Golds

Steve did far better than any polls predicted in both of the Mayoral elections. He is a fantastic campaigner with incredible name recognition. Good luck and on with the campaign

James Browne

Steve Norris was a hopeless candidate last time round and Livingstone will be laughing his head off if the party chooses him again. His mind was plainly less focussed on campaigning and more on his directorships. I don't pretend to know who the Conservative candidate should be but one thing is certain, that if Norris is chosen Livingstone will be around for another 4 years of mismanagement, loony lefty stunts and pandering to Latin American dictators and the friends of terrorists. An "anyone but Norris" campaign should begin now.


If Steve Norris is our candidate, defeat is assured. He is the embodiment of sleazy Toryism, something that London won't vote for.

Can't we find someone to embody the "vote blue go green" strategy apart from Cameron himself? After all, it did deliver us the best local election results in London since 1968.

tory moderniser

I urge London party members who seriously care about to watch Steve's performance on 18 Doughty Street (registation required).


It was a timely reminder of his fantastic skills as a communicator and campaigner. None of the little names: Borwick, Boles, Lightfoot and Rotherham could match this.

He has the experience, the charisma, and the skill to win and be London's Mayor. He is Livingstone's equal in a way that the gaggle of ex and current local councillors are not. He should run now that he doesn't have to drag an embarassment of a party behind him.


Oh please Steve RUN for mayor....

Those whingers that complain about his previous attempts- it was a damn close run thing and in those years, London was NOT Conservative territory by any stretch of the imagination. It now is. It will be a Norris landslide.

Matthew Hunter

"it did deliver us the best local election results in London since 1968."

Since 1990 actually. This election is about London, not rebranding the Tory party. A candidate who is seen as David Cameron's little pet isn't going to go anywhere. Look at Ken Livingstone's success: it depends upon him having a separate identity to the Labour Party. Come election time he won't be running on their record. Be assured of that.

Let's forget about the pile of electorally discarded failed PPC and bored housewives. Steve Norris is a candidate worthy of London and worthy of being our city's Mayor.

Oliver McCarthy

Steve Norris is a good example of the sort of lower-middle-class oaf who has been the bane of the Tory Party for the last generation. Anyone who has tried to campaign in London for him (as I did last time round) will know what an embarrassing political nonentity he really is. Given how unpopular Livingstone was there was no possible excuse for the Tories' losing, but Steve Norris was it. If he stands he'll screw up, same as usual.

michael mcgough

I'm 'Boled' over by his forthright stand on the EU.It is very encouraging to see a senior Conservative taking a Global view rather than the xenophobic 'little european' stance of so many wimpish ,centre ground ,illiberal,pink is the new black ,say anything to win modern Tories

Yet Another Anon

Didn't he say something along those lines the other 2 times?


Please run Steve, please! Lots of people are moaning about the last two defeats but seem to forget how unpopular the Tories were in London and the country. We had only just come out of the dark days of IDS's leadership and it's no wonder we weren't taken seriously.

Steve will win this time.

Frances Thomas

Steve has been proven right on the congestion charge, right on the stupidity of pushing the application date for this process months and years away from the election date, and right that the Tories need a candidate whom Londoners actually believe could be Mayor. Close your eyes and imagine Victoria or Nick walking into City Hall after defeating Livingstone. We need a candidate with the presence to win.

Don Hoyle

Anyone who would get rid of those stupid bendy buses, with their stupid and pointless metric signs on the back, would get my vote (if I lived in the Smoke). The con charge is a disaster (and I do drive into the zone quite often), so good on him who will get rid of that, too. The only question is: "How is London going to pay for the Olympics with Red Ken sidelined and unable to pick all our pockets?"


Oliver McCarthy is typical of the upper class snob (who sneered at Lady Thatcher) that is costing our party vital support in target seats. He no doubts wants an Old Etonian pinko. Steve can attract voters that Old Etonians cannot reach.

Matt Davis

I have one question for those who don't want Steve Norris as our Candidate: If not Norris then who exactly?

chris hollands

"If not Norris then who exactly?"


The Tories should start taking this seriously. If they put up a nobody who can't hold their own against Livingstone, that is how the entire party will be seen.

Richard Patient

Norris lost once.
Norris lost twice.
Norris - do we need a third time?

Richard Friendly

For my money, Steve Norris is the only shot we have at winning. He is a politician to his fingertips--not some geeky researcher, trust fund housewife, or eccentric economist who no-one in the Tory Party has even heard of, never mind Londoners.

Those who have failed in PPC selections, have failed to win target marginal Westminster seats and--Victoria--have failed to even get selected as a constituency candidate for the GLA are simply not in the same league & know it.

Brian Jenner

I know the Conservative Party has acquired a 'losing' addiction over the last decade. It's fascinating to see so many of those addicts come out on this thread.

Who is Steve Norris? A has-been from the 1980s. He does a good Jimmy Tarbuck act, but he's utterly hopeless.

Michael Portillo could win. Boris Johnson might do well. Simon Milton would be a respectable candidate, proving that though they won't win, the Conservatives want to pick intelligent people for the future.

A personal view

The heavyweight candidate would be Boris Johnson

Maude/Cameron needs to take him aside, give it to him straight:

"Look, Boris, you need to face up to the fact that you will never make it to a Cabinet position - do the decent thing for the Party and run for London Mayor.

"You will find that the job has more prominence and involves less work than almost any Cabinet post - bar the top three - which will allow you to continue with your other jobs.

In addition, the focus on your private life will be much less judgemental and exigent than it would be in Government, which must be a good thing.

Please - for the sake of the Party, the good of the capital and your own best interests - take up the challenge.

You would be a shoo-in, and you might even find, (though you may not yet know it), that you have found the right political platform for your talents, and better - that being responsible for restoring to glory the world's greatest city, in the run-up to the olympics - could be the best fun you can have with your clothes on."

Carole Harris

I'm sorry but this kind of nonsense above re: Boris Johnson just shows why some party members don't yet have the political sense to understand and therefore win this race.

The only hope for the Conservatives is to persuade people to take the Mayoralty seriously, which means supporting rather than opposing more powers, not trying to create silly campaigns around the fact that the bill for the Mayor (a fraction of the cost of the boroughs or central government) has gone up to a few 100 quid a year [Victoria], and get behind a candidate who could actually do the job as opposed to play the role of court jester [Boris].

Steve Norris could actually do the job and is taken seriously by the media. By the way, if the Tories run a candidate who is not taken seriously as a potential winner [Borwick, Boles, Lightfoot etc] the campaign will be over before it even starts.

Wake up Conservative Party--this is a very difficult election that requires a stronger candidate than those yet committed to it.

get real

The above, rather silly, "personal view" which has already been posted elsewhere on this site fails to grasp why Livingstone won. It was not because he was an eccentric joke figure like Boris Johnson. But because he was seen to be on the side of Londoners, and fully independent of his own party. And he had the profile and media skills to pull it off.

That's why an eccentric, an idiot, a robot, a nobody or a joke can't win this for us.

Sarah O'Brien

We need someone who knows how to campaign, can withstand the media spotlight, has the relevant executive experience and is seen as Livingstone's equal, not just an also ran.

So far, only Steve Norris fits the bill.

A personal view

Look, anyone who has been out in the country knows that Boris is perhaps the most popular Tory politician we have.

Why dis someone with genuine popular appeal (and a superb intellect) for someone who has none (appeal). The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing again and again, when the outcome is already completely predictable.

Steve Norris has failed against Ken twice already. He is not a man of judgement - witness his taking of a directorship of a tube maintenance company while simultaneously seeking election to the office that would make him the client of that same company.

Surely, we need to wake up, stop seeking to go with a candidate who is a proven failure, and give a role to another who is one of the most widely liked Tory politicians of his generation.

Matt Davis

So 20 odd hours after I asked the question "If not Norris then who exactly?" the answer appears to be a lemon. Boris Johnson cannot be taken to be a serious suggestion, especially since he has repeatedly stated that he doesn't want the job, and why should he when he has a safe as houses Parliamentary seat. We have had a long and widespread search for a candidate and it has not produced anyone with the necessary charisma, name recognition, political skills and experience. Get real people, Norris is the best option available.

Sean Davis

Central Office is mad if they don't ask Steve to do this. Just watch that clip with Iain Dale. None of the others are even close.

James Noble

It has to be Norris. No one else can put in a performance like that interview with Iain.

Katherine Bulmer

I think it's pretty obvious that Steve is the best candidate. How is the primary vote even going to work if Steve is not in it?

Four nobodies will mean low turnout and tactical voting for the candidate most likely to embarass us in the Mayoral election. We might even have to have a second primary if the candidate went nowhere in the polls or, worse, became the object of widespread media derision.

Dave Curtis

Who gets Mayor Livingstone more worried? Steve Norris--or Victoria Borwick, Nicholas Boles and Warwick Lightfoot. It's pretty obvious what the answer is.

Mike Joseph

Steve Norris saved the party from the embarrassment of Lord Archer and Nicki Page as its Mayoral candidates. He gave Livingstone a run for his money when the party often embarrassed him with its support for Section 28 and the like. Now we've moved on from that kind of nonsense, he has the media and campaign skills and just the sheer authority as a person to stand up to Livingstone and win.


"He told me he would scrap the congestion charge zone altogether, scrap bendy buses, reinstate Routemaster buses, tax company car parking spaces, ban goods vehicles from the streets at peak times "

Good policies apart from the Routemaster one. Whilst the historic part of London is important, London is not a museum. By all means replace bendy buses with 'proper' double deckers (modern ones), but not with routemasters.

No other city is using fifty year old buses.

You will also need other policys besides transport-by all means scrap the C-tax, indeed please do, but remember a lot of Londoners either don't have cars or only use them occasionally so don't make it issue number one.

Much as it pains me to say it as someone who generally votes Labour at the Gen Election., good luck......you must at least stand an outside chance of pulling off the shock of the decade

Brian Jenner

It just occurred to me that if David Cameron has to endorse Steve Norris it will be an absolute disaster.

It would be the new bringing out more of the old. A PR disaster!

There's a good Biblical parable about how you can't put new wine into old wineskins. It certainly applies here.

Richard Friendly

It's the fact that Steve Norris has an identity in his own right and is not a carbon copy of his leader (see EU statement) that makes him right for this election.


I would have thought Norris was closer to 'new' wine than 'old', Brian. He's fairly 'one nation' I think.

Mike Joseph

"David Cameron has to endorse Steve Norris."

It's not up to him who the candidate is, that was already devolved to the London members, now to all London voters.

Janet Friedman

My vote goes to Steve Norris. I want to win this thing and a nobody isn't going to do it.

Adam Carter

Good luck to you, Steve. You're the only Tory that the Mayor fears to fight.

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