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'I’ll switch off Ulez expansion cameras on day one': Paul Scully announces bid to become Tory London Mayor

18 May 2023, 08:24 | Updated: 18 May 2023, 08:41

Paul Scully has announced he plans to run for Mayor of London
Paul Scully has announced he plans to run for Mayor of London. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Kit Heren

The Conservative minister Paul Scully will bid to be his party's candidate for the London mayoral race next year, he has announced on LBC.

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Mr Scully, minister for London, and MP for Sutton and Cheam in the capital's southern suburbs since 2015, would be up against several other Tory hopefuls.

The Conservative candidate eventually selected by members would then be running against Labour's Sadiq Khan in the vote next May.

Mr Scully said: “I’m throwing my hat in the ring to become the mayor of London.

“I’ve seen the mayor close hand. He deflects, he doesn’t deliver.

Mr Scully said he would ‘switch off’ Ulez expansion cameras on day one of getting into office.

Paul Scully announces his intention to run for Mayor of London

“I’m really driven - when I see people screaming out about Ulez. This is not Sadiq Khan’s London, this is our London. It can be so much more if we actually get together," he told LBC this morning.

He said he wanted to tackle the issues of spiralling housing costs in London and pledged to ‘tackle crime’ in the capital.

“I’m focusing so much of my time now on running for mayor of London - we really do need that alternative.”

A Labour source said: “Londoners know exactly what the Tories are about – a cost-of-living crisis, soaring housing costs, huge cuts to public services, and opposing measures to clean up our dirty air.

“Despite this Sadiq is getting on with building a better London for everyone – reducing violent crime, cleaning up the air, delivering a record number of council homes and providing free school meals for all London children from September."

Mr Khan has been in post since 2016 and won a second term in 2021, in an election delayed a year by Covid.

Mr Scully previously said the expansion of the ultra low emission zone (Ulez) scheme and housing and transport issues were behind his considerations.

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The Tories will announce their mayoral candidate on July 19. Candidates will be whittled down to a two or three-person shortlist.

Hustings will then take place from June 12 to July 3 before members are given the chance to vote for their preferred candidate between July 4-18.

Mr Scully joins a growing list of politicians who have put their name forward to be the Tory candidate.

They include former Boris Johnson adviser Samuel Kasumu, former David Cameron aide Daniel Korski, and London Assembly members Andrew Boff, Nick Rogers and Susan Hall.

Mr Kasumu, a former Downing Street adviser to Mr Johnson, has received the backing of party heavyweights, including Energy Secretary Grant Shapps, former home secretary Priti Patel and influential Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker.

Mr Korski, a businessman and one-time adviser to former prime minister David Cameron, said on Tuesday he was putting himself forward to be the Tory contender.

The son of Polish refugees is running on a platform of implementing a new tourist tax to pay for more police, including setting up a minor crimes constabulary to work closely with local communities, and building denser housing in central London.

Announcing his candidacy on Tuesday, Mr Korski tweeted: "It's time to restore the London dream. That's why I'm standing to be the Conservative candidate for mayor of London.

"London is increasingly a Labour city, but more Labour has not meant a greater London.

Sadiq Khan has been mayor since 2016
Sadiq Khan has been mayor since 2016. Picture: Alamy

"We need a fresh approach. One that embraces new ideas, new technologies, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Let's make the London dream a reality."

Mr Khan announced last year his intention to stand again in 2024. If the former MP wins, he will become the first person to serve a third term as mayor of the capital.

The previous incumbent, Boris Johnson, stood down after his second term, having been elected to Parliament during his final term, eventually becoming prime minister.

Mr Johnson had defeated Ken Livingstone in 2008 when the former Labour mayor was vying for a third term, with Mr Livingstone the first to hold the devolved role.

Paul Scully is running for mayor
Paul Scully is running for mayor. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Rory Stewart to run for London mayor? Former MP hints at political comeback

Read more: Sadiq Khan risks parking fine after taking a stroll with mayor's Range Rover 4x4 parked on double yellow lines

Labour's Mr Khan intends to expand Ulez to cover the entirety of outer London but the move is being challenged by five Conservative-led councils.

If it goes ahead, the expansion would see drivers in outer London pay a £12.50 daily fee from August 29 if their vehicles do not meet required emissions standards.

Samuel Kasumu is among the frontrunners
Samuel Kasumu is among the frontrunners. Picture: Alamy

The London mayoral election is due to be held on May 2 next year.

It is due to take place three years after the last poll rather than the usual four-year gap due to coronavirus delaying the 2020 vote by 12 months.

Zoe Garbett has been announced as the Green Party mayoral candidate, while FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox will stand for Reform UK, the successor to the Brexit Party.

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