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Comments

Justin Hinchcliffe

Excellent news.

oh dear

I don't think he should say that about the other candidates. Talk about handing Ken a media coup against them.

Alex Crowley

Ahhh!!! No, no, no- in that order. This is a man who lost twice to Ken because the London electorate do not a) like him or b) trust him. This is a man who failed to beat Ken in London Tory strongholds like Barnet, Hillingdon, Wandsworth etc... why will this time be any different?

If the party selects him, it will be a clear sign that we have given up on London. And given the 2008 London elections will be the first major test for Gordon Brown, is that the kind of message David Cameron wants to send out?

Selecting this dinosaur will condemn London to another four years of Ken- does anyone want that?

Can we please start to take running the world's greatest city seriously?

David Bullingdon

Isn't Norris past his sell-by date? Are there no young,vibrant Conservatives around ready to fight for London? Cameron should be able to find one amongst his Etonian friends.

Tam Large

YES! Steve is well known, and is a political heavyweight. The Conservatives need muscle for this, not glitz, and Steve is just the ticket. Go for it!!

simon

Why on earth Norris did not clearly state his intention to stand again would have by-passed all the rubbish about finding a 'candidate'. He has been a good 'no-nonsence' candidate, and if he does stand again he is in with a good chance of winning. That is, if his 'indecision' about standing again hasn't cost him 'credibility' points...

601

Labour have more or less Gerrymandered the election in London with the levels of migration over the last 10 years.

Anonymous

Norris is doing what Gingrich is doing in the US, commenting frequently to keep up his profile without being an official candidate, leading to a Draft Norris campaign to sweep him to victory. Clever stuff!

Frieda

Over my dead body will he...he's hardly a real opposistion to Livingstone but then who is!!

Richard ROBINSON

Mr Norris, who has yet to submit his formal application, said: "There aren't any serious candidates. On that basis, I'm still in the running."


The arrogance is breathtaking!

Jennifer Wells

Please run Steve, your party needs you!

Helen Thomas

Finally a decent candidate amid the unemployed policy researcher, the bored housewife, the nice but unhinged economist and the taxi driver from Sidcup.

Go for it Steve!

Matt Carter

To be taken seriously as election winners, we have to show we can win London. The success of the Cameron project requires someone the media and voters can take seriously as a potential Mayor. The only one out of the line up on this page is Steve Norris.

Graham D'Amiral

I'd welcome Steve Norris putting his name forward, when people ask what has happened since 2004 to suggest he might win this time? I'd say London has swung heavily to the conservatives, look at the seats we gained in 2005, Hammersmith & Fulham, Bexleyheath & Crayford, Putney, Hornchurch and Enfield Southgate. That was followed by some excellent Local council election results in 2006 and we now run more councils than labour in London. The political map of London has changed a great deal since 2004.

Steve Norris certainly by a country mile the biggest name in the field. If he does go for it I'd need someone else to offer me a very good reason why they could do a better job.

Lee

If the best we can do is send old Steve Norris back to get rejected a third time, we might as well sit this one out. It's insulting.

Tim Roll-Pickering

Oh great. The party goes through a massive search for a candidate, even extending the deadlines, and the best we can come up with is the one we ran twice before.

Is there no-one else? Not even Peter Stringfellow?

Comstock

Norris is clearly a strong candidate. The only slight question mark I have is this....

You've gone with this idea of an open primary, and the leading contender is exactly the same guy you ran in 2000 and 2004 (admitedly improving his vote share on the latter occasion).....

Would it not have made sense before offically deciding on this primary to make sure there were at least a couple of half decent candidates interested? If others joined, so much the better.

Jane Harding

It has to be Norris. Livingstone would crush the others.

Matt Davis

The London Mayoralty is not just about winning the election, although admittedly nothing else happens if you don't, but is also about actually successfully running London having won. If both requirements are taken properly into account then of all those so far declared, or rumoured to be declaring, Norris is the only one who ticks both boxes.

I also agree entirely with Tam Large (well today on this issue I do anyway)that what is going to be essential in our candidate is political muscle and not just showbiz glitz. Perhaps if we had managed to attract a genuinely politicised Conservative celebrity to run then there might have been another option, but we haven't and so need to stop trying to play that game now, it's failed.

I would also like to remind everybody that at the last Mayoral election Norris was seriously handicapped by a shortage of campaigning money and because of that by an absolutely dreadful campaign plan that ignored whole swathes of London that have subsequently elected Tory councils. If he's properly supported by CCHQ and the London membership and activists then Norris can win, but it isn't going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Cllr Nicholas Bennett

As a London constituency chairman I, personally, would welcome Steve Norris as candidate. We need a big beast who could do the job of London Mayor. The fact that he has fought twice is to his credit. Londoners like a guy who hangs in there and is prepared to come back fighting, it shows commitment.

Wellness

Its pretty poor show for Norris to rubbish all the other candidates when as far as I can tell they have all been dedicated workers for the party over many years. Whatever their talents or otherwise they do not deserve this kind of treatment. Its arrogant and insensitive.

He lost, not once, but twice, a third will look like carelessness.

malcolm

Well I don't think I could campaign for him with much enthusiasm. His links with Jarvis made him a liability last time, has anything changed?
But what really irks me is his behaviour since we've started looking for a candidate. If you want to stand Steve stand,if you don't, rule yourself out. The undermining of other candidates has been totally counterproductive. This whole election has been a complete farce for the Conseervative party.

Jane Harding

"the other candidates when as far as I can tell they have all been dedicated workers for the party over many years"

"Dedicated workers" is what they should remain. It takes a lot more than that to be a credible candidate for London Mayor.

John Moss

I'm happy to be on the record here, because Steve is absolutely right when he says that there are no other serious contenders. Because the contest is against Livingstone. (The name "Ken" is banned, BTW, far too cuddly).

I'm sorry to be brutal to Nick Boles, Victoria Borwick and the other candidates, many of whom I know and respect, but it is the Livingstone factor which makes it so important to have a really serious contender. The only other declared candidate who even comes close to having the relevant experience is Andrew Boff - who was the youngest ever Conservative to lead a London council, but again, against Livingstone, even Andrew would stand little chance.

Steve should divest himself of his various directorships, mend fences with London activists in those places where he knows they need mending and go for it.

Chris Marsh

Steve is the only sane choice in town. The party has tried, and failed, to find a similarly qualified and experienced candidate. They have tried extending the deadline but that hasn't produced any serious candidates either, as Steve says.

Let's have a real contest and give Livingstone a real contender: we shouldn't be failing to show up the electorate with a no hoper after all these years out of power.

NorthBriton

I'm pleased that Steve Norris appears to be still interested. In fact, when he stood before he polled very respectably and above expectations given the general political climate at the time.

I reckon next time he would have a good chance of edging out Livingstone.

Chris Marsh

what i meant to say was.... "failing to show up for the electorate"...

Norris fan

"I don't think he should say that about the other candidates. Talk about handing Ken a media coup against them."

This is pure nonsense. The party has already done this by extending the deadline.

Charles Barker

David Cameron and Francis Maude: Let's enlist Steve and get on with this.

Shiela Cohen

Save us from electoral death and make Steve the candidate. None of the others will even get taken seriously as having a chance, either by the media or by the voters.

Marianne Bowness

My name is Marianne Bowness, Election Agent for Winston McKenzie. Literally - the dark horse of the field!

Have you heard him speak yet? He has gone to so many functions and engagements within the Conservative Party recently, and met with so many ordinary Members, as well as MPs, etc.

A former Champion Boxer, one of the famous McKenzie Brothers, all four of whom were Boxing Champions in their own right, he comes with a celebrity name, well known all over England, particularly in sport, boxing and football. More recently the family have made a breakthrough in the world of showbiz when his Nephew Ashley was a finalist in the recent X-Factor series.

He is quite an extraordinary charismatic character, and very much a man of the community. His charity and community work is exemplary. Look up his website;- myspace.com/winstonmckenzieuk

He certainly can pack a punch - There is no-one else who could look Livingstone in the eye without fear.

Trust me - this guy is worth looking into. I have been in politics all my life (the former Wife of Lord Peter Bowness, Leader of Croydon Council for 19 years amongst other titles). McKenzie is formidable!

Marianne Bowness

Geoff Maxwell

As far as i know the principle of "third time lucky" doesn't apply in politics.

What a joke

Jim Curtis

"My name is Marianne Bowness, Election Agent for Winston McKenzie. Literally - the dark horse of the field!"

This (above) is one of our party's problems. Members aren't smart enough to figure out who is, and who is not, an appropriate candidate. Just wanting to do it, visiting London's high streets, smiling etc is not anywhere near enough. Yet how many posts drone on about this and other trivia?

The Labour Party have the biggest gun in town. If they did not, they would look to someone else equally weighty and experienced in politics and campaign to the Mayor.

Enough of the "he's worked for charity," "Victoria's made a nice video," "Nick was an inspirational leader at Policy Exchange." None of it is of any importance as regards winning this election.

Robert Hughes

"As far as i know the principle of "third time lucky" doesn't apply in politics."

What little you know...

Er, Winston Churchill? 1945, 1950 and 1951? Reagan for president, 1968, 1976 and 1980? Chirac for president, 1981, 1988 and 1995?

Roger Evans

Jim, before you go praising the Labour party for their choice of candidate, remember that Livingstone effectively forced himself on them. Their candidate in 2000 was the much derided Frank Dobson, who came third. Their original candidate for 2004 (before Livingstone returned to the fold) was the little known Nicky Gavron.

Without Livingstone (who they initially rejected) Labour would be facing just the same difficulties that we and the Lib Dems face.

Jim Curtis

The point is, Roger, was that they didn't go through with Nicky Gavron because they knew the results would be humiliating. Accordingly Blair and Brown swallowed their pride and got behind Livingstone. Cameron should be at least as ruthless about this.

Frank Dobson had at least been a cabinet minister and run the health service, I don't see any comparable experience in the current sorry line up. Of course, the reason he came third was because he was up against two superior political players: Ken Livingstone and Steve Norris.

Plenty of current and former Labour ministers would be interested if Livingstone got out of the way. Tony Banks was interested. Stephen Twigg has expressed interest in the past. Both have massively more experience than sitting on a council in a true blue Tory ward in Westminster (Boles) or K&C (Borwick and Lightfoot).

Stefanie Bowes

Jim Curtis is absolutely right. Now that the party is, rightly, embracing citywide Mayors for England, we can't send one of the pipsqueak candidates into the fray against Livingstone. We need to show we believe in Mayors and winning by refusing to settle for a David vs. Goliath contest.

Elected Mayors have the power to regenerate our cities, and our party's fortunes within them, but only with a serious person like Norris. He believes in having a Mayor and is someone people can believe could be Mayor. The others should stay on their local councils, or polish their CVs in the hope they might get selected for a winnable GLA or parliamentary seat next time.

Jane Carter

It has to be Steve Norris. We need to be able to make a serious contest out of this.

just asking

Nick, I mean "Geoff," is that you in some of these posts?

James

We have lost before we start. Steve Norris is a nice guy, apart from his part in the Jarvis manslaughter train crash, so lets go for the boxer, he may have hit a few people but none were killed!

Bill J. Murray

"We have lost before we start. Steve Norris is a nice guy, apart from his part in the Jarvis manslaughter train crash, so lets go for the boxer, he may have hit a few people but none were killed!"

This is pathetic, whoever you are. Plainly, your political understanding is as limited as your take on that situation. Steve Norris was in no way responsible for that tragedy.

Cllr James Marx

Still the same old Tory party that would rather fight itself than take the best candidate and fight the Labour candidate.

I'm a councillor and I'm sick of the sort of attacks on a few of these threads. Only Steve Norris can win this for us. Let's not attack the best person we have for the job.

Chrissy Jones

"Let's not attack the best person we have for the job."

Here, here. Let's show everyone we are serious about winning this. It has to be Steve.

Martin Scanlon

Whom would Livingstone rather fight? A serious heavyweight like Steve Norris or a nobody with no experience like Boles, Borwick or Lightfoot. The answer is obvious.

Jayne Cooper

Steve Norris is the only one I can see myself going door-to-door for. The Lib Dems tried the total nobody who walked all the high streets and smiled. Remember Susan Kramer? No, most Londoners don't either, and she's a London MP now! She came fourth.

Susan Chambers

What better for us for Gordon Brown than Steve Norris winning the Mayoralty next year? And what worse for us than the Labour Mayor staying put because we couldn't find a solid, equivalent candidate to Red Ken?

Mark Hodgkins

I'm supporting Steve Norris for this one. You can't win this election unless you have a reputation for independence with Londoners. Norris has that, and the relevant experience and charisma. The others don't even have a reputation with Londoners, never mind an independent one.

Dawn Cole

If it's Steve Norris, he'll be able to explain what the Mayor and campaigns are all about to Suella Fernandes and James Morris.

Tim Peters

Forget Mayoral term limits. Norris is what we need to wipe the smile of Ken's face.

Peter Berrow

I think that backing Steve Norris would be a back step as firstly by attacking his opponents shows he is not a team player. Also by saying he is only doing it because there are no other heavyweights shows that his heart is not really in it and is only looking for a few photo shoots.
Also to say that people like Boles or Lightfoot(who I would support) have no experience and with that are not heavyweights just shows how braindead some people are on this website who probably couldn't tell people who their local MP are.
Let as many people as possible get through to the Primary and then allow the Local party members chose who should the candidate be rather than allow people on this site who are probable still in nappys decide?

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