Gay Tory makes Mayor of London shortlist
Andrew Boff has been selected as one of four candidates for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London.
The 49-year-old IT consultant and publisher joins former Tory frontbencher and TV personality Boris Johnson on the list, which was chosen from over 40 hopefuls by a selection panel on Saturday.
The other candidates are Kensington Chelsea councillors Warwick Lightfoot and Victoria Borwick.
The final selection process will be open to all Londoners already on the electoral register, who can request a ballot paper from today.
This “open primary” of all London voters closes on 26th September and the Tory candidate will be announced soon after.
Mr Boff told PinkNews.co.uk:
“I am delighted to have been selected.
“There is everything to play for. Londoners for the first time are going to be able to choose a candidate for the Conservative party, and that is open to everyone. All your readers in London can take part.”
Mr Boff announced a new policy yesterday. Londoners will have the right to draw up their own policies and have them voted on by fellow Londoners if he becomes mayor.
‘Voters’ initiatives’ are modelled on the ‘citizens’ initiative’ procedures used many U.S. states and in Switzerland. The results would be binding on the mayor and the Greater London Authority, who put into action the plans of the mayor.
Mr Boff said: “I think Londoners are grown up enough to be able make decisions themselves. Politicians have to learn that ultimately the people are the bosses. The time for direct democracy has come.”
The Conservative party is keen to find a candidate who can challenge the incumbent mayor, Ken Livingstone.
Mr Livingstone became London’s first mayor in 2000 as an independent candidate, having been expelled from the Labour party.
The veteran left-winger, formerly known as “Red Ken,” modified his views, if not his sharp tongue, and won again in 2004 as the Labour candidate with 55.4% of the vote in the second round.
The Mayor of London is responsible for budgeting and strategic planning of some government functions across the whole of London.
His or her responsibilities include transport, cultural strategy and economic development and the emergency services.
It is one of the best paid political posts in local government: £137, 579 per annum – the same as a Cabinet minister.