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I will take inspiration from David Cameron, says Tory London mayor candidate Daniel Korski

I will take inspiration from David Cameron, says Tory London mayor candidate Daniel Korski

“Nobody’s trying to go back to the past,” he said. “Cameronism was of its time, and it’s something I’m very proud that I participated in, legalising same-sex marriage, trying to balance the books, the huge pro-entrepreneurial agenda that we built up in this country and this city coming out of the financial crisis”.

He also said he shared the former prime minister’s “deep respect for the institutions of this society”.

He went on: “People aren’t trying to hark back I think to the age of Cameron. But I do think that some of the things that we did well, people in 2023 are thinking, ‘Hey, we could use some of that’.

“If you mix Andy Street, which is sort of where I see myself more – pragmatic, business-like, entrepreneurial – add a bit of a Cameroonian optimism and civic service, I think therein lies a very winnable proposition in London”.

While Mr Korski campaigned for Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum, he pointed out that as well as receiving the support of centrist MPs like the former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland – the latest MP to endorse him – he has also received the backing of Brexit-supporting Right-wingers such as Jonathan Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North. He said that his “greatest mentor” was the Thatcher-era minister, Lord Young of Graffham.

Mr Korski has proposed a number of eye-catching policies, such as switching off red traffic lights at night and giving every pensioner in London a free burglar alarm.

In an interview with The Telegraph last week, Ms Hall appeared to criticise his platform, warning against “promising the Earth” and saying she would focus on getting “the basics right” rather than “fancy ideas”.

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‘I’m offering something different’

In what will be seen as a response to Ms Hall, Mr Korski defended floating such ideas. “Nobody sets out to buy a great home because they know the foundation is solid,” he said. “You need the foundation to be solid but that’s not what you’re looking at on Rightmove. What people like to do, because I think it’s human, is to dream and to be hopeful.”

According to internal polling undertaken last year on how the Tories can take on Mr Khan, the Tories had a base of about 24 per cent in London but could extend this to 53 per cent with the right candidate. The polling also suggested that a candidate with a business background was most popular among those considering voting Conservative.

Mr Korski said it showed the party had to reach across to other voters. “Our base is collapsing,” he said.

“Even if you get the base out, you’re just not going to win, it’s not going to happen. You need a broader proposition and a broader coalition.”

“If you want to be tickled on the tummy and lose, people can go right ahead,” he said. “If people want a ChatGPT candidate that just spouts out the basics there are other candidates on offer. I’m offering something different.”

  • June 25, 2023