Tory members have selected a Windrush descendant and former adviser to David Cameron to fight Sadiq Khan in the next London mayoral election.
Shaun Bailey defeated rivals Andrew Boff and Joy Morrissey for the nomination to stand in 2020 after a vote by party supporters in the capital.
Mr Bailey, who is a London Assembly member, is pledging a “zero tolerance” approach to crime and vows to put 1,000 extra police officers on London’s streets if he wins the mayoralty.
He said: “Local government is important work and our city is facing real challenges. Violent crime is up. Gang crime is up. Knife crime is up. Our transport system faces a £1 billion hole in its operating budget.
“New homes are not being built fast enough. After two-and-a-half years of Sadiq Khan, it is clear we cannot afford more of the same.”
Congratulations to @ShaunBaileyUK, the new @Conservatives candidate for Mayor of London. A passionate and dedicated campaigner, he truly gets what London needs to thrive. He has the ideas and the energy to deliver. I look forward to joining him on the campaign trail soon. pic.twitter.com/XKXMiki9Si
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) September 28, 2018
His first major political speech following his selection will be at the Conservative conference in Birmingham early next week.
Mr Bailey’s family moved to London as part of the Windrush Generation and he was raised by his mother in North Kensington.
For many years Mr Bailey was a youth worker in Ladbroke Grove and entered politics through charity work.
Tory chairman Brandon Lewis welcomed Mr Bailey’s appointment, saying: “I’m delighted Shaun Bailey has been elected as our candidate. He is passionate about London and has the ideas London needs to continue to be the best capital city in the world.
“London is being let down by Sadiq Khan, who keeps breaking the promises he made to Londoners on crime, housing and transport. I know Shaun will hold him to account and outline his positive vision for London.”
The selection vote had to go to a second round after none of the candidates received more than 50% from first preferences.
After the first round, Mr Bailey received 3,164 votes (43.2%), Mr Boff took 2,591 (35.4%) and Joy Morrissey took 1,566 (21.4%).
Ms Morrissey was eliminated, and after second preference votes were included, Mr Bailey took 3,904 votes to Mr Boff’s 3,186.