Conservative MP Paul Scully has pledged to switch off ULEZ cameras in the extended zone on “day one” if elected London mayor, as he launched his bid to be the Conservative candidate.
Currently minister for London, Scully, MP for Sutton and Cheam, is pausing his frontbench work while he aims to be selected as the Tory to take on Labour’s Sadiq Khan in 2024.
Speaking to LBC Radio, Scully said: “As of yesterday, having been the minister for London for three years, it feels like an apprenticeship because I’m now throwing my hat in the ring to become the mayor of London.
“I’ve seen the mayor close at hand and he deflects, he doesn’t deliver. I just want to make sure London can be the greatest city that it can be.
“That’s switching off the ULEZ expansion cameras on day one that I get in, that’s tackling housing, tackling transport and tackling crime and safety.
“That’s what Londoners are screaming out for. These are serious times and we need a serious mayor.”
The ULEZ expansion is set to be a core issue for voters at the next mayoral election. The policy – which would see drivers of vehicles which fail to meet emissions standards charged a £12.50 daily fee or face fines across the entire capital – has proved controversial.
Scully, who is also a minister for technology, said he would relinquish his capital-related job if selected as Conservative candidate, but that he and the Prime Minister would consider if he should stay on in his Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) role.
The MP also told the PA news agency he would try to follow predecessor Boris Johnson’s footsteps and “reach out beyond” his tribe in a bid to stop Khan securing a historic third term.
Scully said: “I don’t think anyone is like Boris Johnson. But the point about Boris was that he was ambitious for London, he was positive for London, and had a positive vision.
“And he reached out beyond any sense of core vote or tribalism. That is what I want to do.
“I want to be a mayor who is a Conservative, rather than a centralised Conservative mayor.”
The last Tory incumbent of City Hall was former Prime Minister Johnson, who held the position between 2008 and 2016 before stepping down to focus on his national political ambitions.
Candidates will be whittled down to a shortlist of up to three before members vote for their chosen candidate on 19 July.
Other names in the frame include ex-No 10 advisers Samuel Kasumu and Daniel Korski; London Assembly members Andrew Boff, Nick Rogers and Susan Hall; and friend of Stephen Lawrence Duwayne Brooks.
A Labour source, asked about Scully’s criticisms of Khan’s leadership, told PA: “Londoners know exactly what the Tories are about – a cost of living crisis, soaring housing costs, huge cuts to public services and opposing measures to clean up our dirty air.
“Despite this, Sadiq is getting on with building a better London for everyone – reducing violent crime, cleaning up the air, delivering a record number of council homes and providing free school meals for all London children from September.”