PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

Following the decision of prominent lesbian businesswoman Margot James to declare that she will not be seeking the Conservative nomination for Mayor of London, a further gay candidate has emerged.

PinkNews.co.uk has learnt that Nicholas Boles, Director of the Conservative party aligned think tank, the Policy Exchange is considering standing for the Conservative nomination in an open primary to be held later this year.

Political blogs including “Order-Order” have tipped Mr Boles as a potential candidate. However, he refused to be drawn on the issue when speaking to PinkNews.co.uk earlier today.

Mr Boles said: “on the issue of the Mayor of London, I have nothing to say at the moment. When I do have something to say on that matter I will let you know.”

Last month, Ms James, vice-chairman of the Conservative party with responsibility for women told PinkNews.co.uk that she would not be a candidate for Mayor of London. “It’s a hard decision but parliament is my goal.” She went on to add: “I feel like I’m letting everyone down but it’s the right decision. The party leadership were very keen on me and a number of others to come forward but I think that I will better serve the party from Parliament.”

Mr Boles unsuccessfully stood for Parliament in Hove during the last general election.

Conservative leader David Cameron announced last month that the party are will test an American open primary system to select their next candidate for Mayor of London.

The winner will face the incumbent Labour mayor Ken Livingstone, often praised for his pro-gay credentials. The party hopes that an open selection will encourage minority candidates to emerge including candidates from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community.

Any legally eligible Londoner may stand to become the Conservative candidate for the mayoralty. The winning candidate will be selected by all those in London, not just members of the Conservative Party thanks to the use of text and telephone voting.

“It’s the first time in British politics that such an important post has been chosen like this,” Mr Cameron said earlier today. “It’s a first for the Conservatives. We’re changing our selection process for the mayor to give every Londoner a say.

“Every Londoner who supports our party will have a chance to become the Conservative candidate.

“Head-hunters will be used to encourage potential candidates to apply. And, later in the year, we will be holding a series of public meetings across the capital so that Londoners can quiz potential candidates face to face.

“Then every Londoner will be able to vote by text or phone on who should be the Conservative candidate for the capital’s top job.”

Mr Cameron went on to add: “Too many people are fed up and disillusioned with politics. I hope

that doing things differently will fire the public’s imagination and get them talking and thinking about politics again.”

Those wishing to stand may spend up to £100,000 on their campaign but must not accept more than £20,000 from any single donor including themselves. The application phase of the primary will end on the 4th of August.

Last month, Ms James, vice-chairman of the Conservative party with responsibility for women told PinkNews.co.uk that she would not be a candidate for Mayor of London. “It’s a hard decision but parliament is my goal.” She went on to add: “I feel like I’m letting everyone down but it’s the right decision. The party leadership were very keen on me and a number of others to come forward but I think that I will better serve the party from Parliament.”

Mr Boles unsuccessfully stood for Parliament in Hove during the last general election.