On 6 January this year, I resigned from my position as a senior civil servant in Whitehall to run as an independent candidate in this year's Mayor of London election. You can read what I have been up to since then on my new website.
There are now just 84 days to go until the election. My campaign is going well but there is one thing I want to get off my chest:
To the powers that be at the BBC, ITV and other major broadcasters - there are more than two candidates in this year's mayoral election. Most people don't want a re-run of 2008. They are tired of the tired old men. So my plea to you all is to please open up - even just a tiny bit. If not in the name of democracy then do it simply to relieve the tedium (your viewers will thank you for it). Take a punt and give a fresh and - there, I've said it - female voice, a bit of airspace.
Most people I meet nowadays ask me why I joined the mayoral race. The truth is, it was a monumental decision with numerous factors leading up to it. But, on one level, it is also very simple; I want my daughters to thrive in a city where women have a strong voice and where society's leaders reflect the magnificent diversity of London's public. At the moment, that is not the case. Whether in politics, in journalism or in broadcasting, it is still an overwhelmingly male perspective that shapes, describes and reports on the world around us. If new candidates like me - who don't come from the old networks or established circles - are not offered a platform then the (largely grey-suited) status quo will prevail.
So, with that grumble out of the way, I am delighted to say that I will be announcing my main policies over the next few weeks. They will be a mix of the big and the small, the visionary and the pragmatic because a good Mayor cares as much about local neighbourhoods as they do about cross-rail or high speed rail.
My policies will be aimed at increasing opportunities for everyone in London, especially the most vulnerable and poorest groups across the capital. And I am placing youth at the heart of my campaign (that's not an observation on me unfortunately; I had my big birthday last year).
Too many politicians talk down the younger generation and blame them for all of society's ills. I simply don't buy that. I believe that, in the main, teenagers and young adults today are hardworking and conscientious. We should be talking them up, not putting them down and working with them to shape the future that they will inhabit. That's exactly what I intend to do.
So, please watch this space as the campaign continues and follow me on Twitter if you want my daily news and views. I'm still on something of a social media learning curve so forgive me if the tweets are not yet up to Stephen Fry standard!
Oh yes, and if you happen to have any contacts at the BBC or ITV could you do me a favour and give them a nudge...
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