Published On: Fri, Oct 2nd, 2015

Zac Goldsmith Elected as London Conservative Mayoral Candidate

READ MORE: The Goldsmiths - One British Family Divided Over Its Jewish Roots

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Zac Goldsmith, 40, has been named as the Conservative candidate for London mayor. He’ll face Labour’s Sadiq Khan in May’s election.

The MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, was selected ahead of three other candidates, taking 70.6 percent of the primary vote, the Conservative Party said in a statement Friday.

A total of 87, 884 voted in the Labour London mayoral primary and 9, 227 in the Conservative equivalent, suggesting at least in theory Khan has better activists on which to call than Goldsmith, say The Guardian.

Boris Johnson, who’s held the mayoralty for the Conservatives since 2008, will step down after he won a seat in the U.K. Parliament in May.

Goldsmith said he wanted to build on Johnson’s legacy, but warned that there were “ increasing pressures on our city” because of its financial success.

In a statement, Goldsmith pledged to work “tirelessly” and said “We have seen record investment in our transport network, but we will need to continue that investment just to avoid grinding to a halt – while at the same time continuing to bear down on the cost of travel so that it delivers value for money for Londoners, ” he said.

“Our living environment is facing increasing pressure, and we will need to protect, enhance and improve access to our green spaces, as well as radically improving the quality of the air that we breathe. But the biggest challenge of all is the housing crisis. Londoners are being priced out of their city and we will need a step change in the number of homes built, and the manner in which they are built.”

The Labour candidate told his party’s annual conference on Wednesday that he intends to make the mayoral contest “a referendum on the housing crisis” that’s seen soaring house prices and rents in London and “stand up to big property developers.”
Whoever is elected will govern a metropolis of 8.5 million people accounting for almost a quarter of the U.K. economy, giving him the biggest personal mandate in British politics. The mayor oversees an annual budget of about 11 billion pounds ($17 billion), with powers over transport, policing and the fire service.

Goldsmith is the son of James Goldsmith, the late billionaire financier who was the founder of a eurosceptic movement in the 1990s.

Goldsmith has a personal fortune of 75 million pounds, according to the latest annual Sunday Times Rich List.

Just a few months ago, British financier Ben Goldsmith wedded his girlfriend of two years, lingerie model and caterer to celebrities, Jemima Jones. The wedding was attended by celebrities as well as family More…

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