London Assembly Member for South west London considers running for Mayor

Image above: London Assembly Member Nicholas Rogers

London Assembly member believes he is best suited to beat Sadiq Khan

Nicholas Rogers, the London Assembly Member for South West London, has said he is considering running as as the Conservative’s candidate for Mayor of London.

Mr Rogers, who represents the boroughs of Hounslow, Richmond-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Thames, said:

“I have been considering it for a while, and I’ve been speaking to colleagues and also thinking a bit about what we as a party need to do in order to win the next mayoral election.

“I think the choice of our candidate is so important, because we need to run a campaign that strikes the right tone and talks to the right people and hits the right issues.

“The tone has to be one of positivity, it really does. It needs to be a positive, forward-looking optimistic campaign that recognises London is the greatest city in the world, but the best can still get better.”

Image above: Nicholas Rogers campaigning in Hounslow in 2021

“Who better to stand up for millennial Londoners than a millennial Londoner?”

If nominated as the Mayoral candidate, Mr Rogers said he would pursue a policy platform which engages millennials, something which he says the Conservative Party is failing to do, an issue he describes as an existential threat. He said:

“We need to address it. The place to do that, I’m convinced, is in our next mayoral campaign. That’s the place we can do that. I think it’s actually an opportunity for the party,” he said.

“In London, we can get out ahead of this issue. We can set the tone for the party in the rest of the country. Who better to stand up for millennial Londoners than a millennial Londoner?”

Mr Rogers said his party needed to make “solid offerings” for millennial Londoners, including a “manifesto for renters”, with specific policies for people who don’t yet own their own home in the capital.

Mr Rogers, 37, was elected to his incumbent role on 6 May 2021 winning the seat by a majority of 12,267 and 31.9% of the vote. SW London has historically been a safe seat for the Conservatives’ London Assembly, having previously been held by the veteran Conservative politician Tony Arbour since its creation in 2000.

Unlike his predecessor, Mr Rogers is a prolific Tweeter and often engages with policy issues and political opponents directly on Twitter. During the 2021 London Assembly campaign, while paying tribute to Tony Arbour’s time in office, he pledged to modernise the representation of the seat by being “active, visible and present” through utilising social media.

Image above: proposed boundaries for the ULEZ expansion

ULEZ expansion plans ‘have made Sadiq Khan vulnerable’

The Assembly Member said he was confident Khan is beatable at the next election and that the incumbent Mayor’s plans to expand the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) have made him vulnerable.

Rogers frequently criticises the Mayor’s ULEZ expansion plans, saying the issue is uniting people across the political divide. He said if he were mayor, he would scrap the change.

Polling carried out by YouGov in October 2022 commissioned by City Hall showed that 51% of Londoners supported the ULEZ expansion, while only 21% opposed.

Critics believe Mr Rogers may face an uphill battle should he choose to use ULEZ expansion as main point of attack to win back millennial voters, since implementation of the ULEZ expansion polled as even more popular among those under 50, with 56% saying they support it compared to 21% who oppose it.

Local environmentalist and cycling enthusiast Paul Campbell said on Twitter:

Nick Rogers (⁦@NJROnline⁩) on how the Conservatives need to win millennial voters to restore their fortunes in London. While complaining about ULEZ. Because millennial Londoners are famously pro-pollution and anti-environment”.

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