Shaun Bailey today pledged “London’s best days are ahead of us” as he was named as the Conservative candidate to take on Sadiq Khan in 2020’s mayoral election.
The former adviser to David Cameron was announced this morning as the winner in a ballot of Tory party members in the capital.
London Assembly member Mr Bailey, 47, is pledging a “zero tolerance” approach to crime, vowing to put 1,000 extra police officers on London’s streets if he wins the mayoralty.
He said: “I’m now preparing myself for 18 months of hard work. London has been really generous to me, I was born here, my family is here.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to London what it has given me. I want to give back to my community.
“For London our best days are ahead of us. The Mayor has just been talking London down.”
Mr Bailey beat Joy Morrissey, a former actress and councillor in Ealing, and Andrew Boff, a fellow London Assembly member, to be selected.
Crime is expected to dominate his campaigning and he has been highly critical of the Mayor for failing to tackle violence.
Artificial intelligence methods used in New York could be replicated in London, he suggested, and he has also vowed to slash City Hall bureaucracy to free up more money for policing.
He said: “I came from one of the poorest areas of London where I’ve seen the blight of crime on people’s lives.
“When we talk about social mobility of young people it’s impossible for them to move forward if they live in a crime-riddled environment.
“If you want to help people in London they’ve got to suffer as little crime as possible.”
Housing will also be a significant issue and he has pledged to release more land for homes.
He backed Brexit at the EU referendum, adding: “I’m not a Brexiteer in that crazy sense of ‘let’s just leave’… I will be talking to Londoners about how we get the best deal.”
His first major political speech will be at the Conservative conference in Birmingham early next week.
Mr Bailey’s family moved to London from Jamaica and he was raised by his mother in North Kensington after his parents split when he was a child.
He was a youth worker in Ladbroke Grove and entered politics through charity work as co-founder of My Generation, an organisation to help disadvantaged families.
A paper he wrote for the Centre for Policy Studies in 2007 was picked up by the Conservative party and he was introduced to David Cameron by aide Steve Hilton.
After a spell as a special adviser to the Prime Minister on youth and crime, he moved to the Cabinet Office to work on the national Citizen Service scheme.
He won a seat on the London Assembly in 2015 and ran for the Tories in Lewisham West at the 2017 General Election, losing to Labour’s Ellie Reeves.
He lives in Romford with wife Ellie, a history teacher, and their two children.
The vote had to go to a second round after none of the candidates received more than 50 per cent from first preferences.
After the the first round Mr Bailey received 3,164 votes (43.2 per cent), Mr Boff took 2,591 (35.4 per cent) and Joy Morrissey took 1,566 (21.4 per cent).
Ms Morrissey was eliminated, and after second preference votes were included, Mr Bailey took 3,904 votes to Mr Boff’s 3,186.