THE BLOG

Now or Never: Crunch Time - I Need Your Help

21/07/2015 15:20 BST | Updated 19/07/2016 10:59 BST

Even though I've lived here for 30 years, running for Mayor has taught me so much about London and what makes it tick. I've spent the last year doing the groundwork, meeting everyone from developers to charities to TfL operators to Deputy Mayors to prepare a comprehensive policy list. With over 20,000 supporters signed up, I've also been able to hear really good ideas from many ordinary Londoners who just want to make their city better.

But now it all comes down to this week, when I will be interviewed by some of the Conservative Party's most important figures in London, to see whether or not I can make it onto the ballot for the open primary. All I want is the opportunity to be able to take the ideas I've developed on housing, transport, policing, a Londoners Fund for our best causes, among many others, and give people the chance to debate them and either vote for them or not.

I believe that my policies, combined with my experience and passion, will be an asset to the Mayoral contest further in this race. I'm the only candidate who has built up a multi-million pound business from scratch, and the only one who isn't a party insider. London wants and deserves a broader debate, involving as many interests and perspectives as possible, and the Conservative party should seek to respond to this desire.

The bottom line is that if the Conservatives want to beat Labour, they need to pick a candidate who knows how to speak to a wider London audience. Having made gains in London at the general election, they are in a strong position here, and lacking ambition or imagination at this stage is not something Conservatives can afford if we want to retain City Hall next year. Now isn't the time to narrow the field of ideas and personalities. I respect all of my Tory competitors, who are fantastic candidates in their own right. But Labour have a strong and mixed field of six to put to Londoners in their primary, and we need to avoid any complacency.

So today I am appealing for your help. If you think that I should be on the ballot in the Conservative open primary - even if you've either not yet decided who you'll be voting for or have decided that you'll vote for someone else - please let the panel know by clicking here.

Provided enough people send this, we can make sure that Londoners get a real choice to decide who they want as their Mayor, rather than just party bigwigs.