Sol Campbell has confirmed he's bidding for the Tory nomination to be Mayor of London, inadvertently showing just how poor the pool of Conservative candidates is.
Look, we've got nothing against Campbell, and his stated aim for running —
"I look at people who have been in politics for five, 10, 15 years, and muck up, you see them muck up and think 'You guys are supposed to be pro!' People that have gone to Oxbridge, had thousands spent on their education, and I mean they are royally mucking up. I bring something new to the table. This is a whole new road for me, something I can get my teeth into, but I just felt it was something I had to do."
— is laudable; after all, think how many people voted for something other than the usual status quo in last month's general election. But still. Labour has a former Cabinet minister, four MPs and a transport expert vying for its nomination. The Conservatives have:
- Ivan Massow, an entrepreneur
- Andrew Boff, a respected London Assembly Member and our current favourite
- Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and just, god, no
- and now a footballer.
No wonder Tory activists are trying to persuade Zac Goldsmith to stand. We need a range of decent candidates for 2016 so we can properly discuss all the issues London faces. Sorry Sol, but there's a danger the likes of Tessa Jowell or Sadiq Khan would wipe the floor with you in a debate. And that wouldn't help anyone.
You can hear the Conservative candidates debating at hustings in Finchley on 4 July (*cough* free bar *cough*) and with Centre for London in mid July. If you want to hear from the Labour candidates, Centre for London is also holding a hustings in central London on 16 July.