Tuesday 9 June 2015 5:48 am

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith announces bid to run for London mayor

Zac Goldsmith has joined the race to become the next London mayor, boosting Conservative hopes of holding onto power at City Hall.

He becomes the fifth Tory in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as London mayor, after the Johnson won a seat in Parliament in last month's General Election. 

The young Tory MP has gained a strong reputation as a charismatic environmentalist and a rising star in the party.

Read more: Who will be the next Boris Johnson? Runners, riders and potential candidates

His announcement comes after months of speculation and repetitive denials from Goldsmith. In October last year, he said: "I'm not looking to run as mayor". 

Now, speaking to the Evening Standard, he said stopping a third runway at Heathrow and cleaning up London's environment would be among his main priorities as mayor.

He also said he would work towards boosting high streets, improving transport and mending politics. 

He told the Standard

London needs a mayor who can work with government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the government when it gets things wrong.

The Tory MP is planning on giving his Richmond Park constituents the final say on his candidacy, spending £41,000 on a postal ballot. Having just been re-elected to serve the constituency, he said "it's important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for mayor".