London mayoral election gets a new twist as ruling Conservative party selected Zac Goldsmith, former brother in law of Pakistani cricketer Imaran Khan, to challenge Labour party’s Sadiq Khan, son of a Pakistani bus driver….reports Asian Lite news
Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith aka Zac Goldsmith, the Richmond Park and North Kingston MP, said he was “honoured” after winning 70% of the 9,227 votes cast using an online primary system. He beat MEP Syed Kamall and London’s deputy mayor for crime and policing Stephen Greenhalgh.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Lib Dem’s Caroline Pidgeon, Green’s Sian Berry, UKIP’s Peter Whittle are in the fray. Former Respect MP George Galloway is also running.
Eton educated Mr Goldsmith, son of late Sir James Goldsmith, got 6,514 votes, more than the other three candidates combined. Syed Kamall came second with 1,477 votes ahead of Stephen Greenhalgh (864) and Andrew Boff (372).
Mr Goldsmith – who first entered Parliament in 2010 – told the BBC’s Daily Politics that he hoped his environmental record would appeal to Green and Lib Dem voters and he also hoped to “reach out” to UKIP supporters frustrated with politics as usual and the UK’s relationship with the EU.
Mr Goldsmith, who has confirmed he would stand down from Parliament if he became mayor, triggering a by-election, said he wanted to build on current mayor Boris Johnson’s achievements.
But he said anyone who attempted to replicate Mr Johnson’s style of leadership would be “deluded” as he was a “unique figure” in British politics.
“If people are in the market for a ‘Boris mark two’ are going to be very disappointed,” he said, adding that people wanted someone who “will bend George Osborne’s ear and get a good deal for London”.
Current mayor Boris Johnson will step down next year after two terms in office. He is also currently the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, having been returned to Parliament in May.
Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics, Mr Galloway dismissed Mr Goldsmith as a “Great Gatsby figure” who could not relate to most Londoners’ lives and Mr Khan as “a very boring man”.
He revealed policies including compulsorily purchasing any house left vacant for more than a year and having 50% of all homes in the capital as social housing.