Senior party figures have been pushing the London MEP to take on favourite Zac Goldsmith in the City Hall race but until now he has kept his powder dry. The leadership is understood to be keen to have a proper contest, rather than a coronation, and wants a diverse short list to reflect the capital’s population.
In an interview with the Standard, Mr Kamall said he was running because he believed he could beat Mr Goldsmith and the other Tory candidates.
“I wouldn’t be throwing my hat in the ring if I didn’t think I’d get the nomination. I’m not just here to be a rider, I’m here to win,” he said. “Lots of people in the party have been asking me to do it and saying ‘look Syed, you’re different, you can reach out beyond the party, go for it.’
“Clearly I have shown it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s where you’re going to. That’s all part of my message of ambition.”