Lesbian Tory vice chairman tipped for London Mayor campaign

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Lesbian Conservative Party vice chairman Margot James has emerged as a potential applicant for the selection of a Tory London mayoral candidate.

The Conservatives are holding an open primary which allows anyone to apply to be nominated to contest the position for the 2008 London mayoral election.

Ms James, currently standing for local elections in Kensington and Chelsea, told the Evening Standard, “I am undecided about standing but I am pleased to be thought of.”

The businesswoman is seen as an ideal representative to portray the Party’s “keep it real” image.

Other candidates rumoured to be interested include Westminster Council leader Sir Simon Milton, and Steve Norris who stood against current London Mayor, Ken Livingstone in 2000 and 2004.

Gay businessman Ivan Massow, who stood for the 2000 Tory candidature, told PinkNews.co.uk that he was “genuinely not interested in politics or any of the MP business.”

Ms James, a Chelsea based millionaire, became the first openly lesbian woman to stand as a Conservative candidate when she contested the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancreas at the last general election.

The selection process will involve an initial interview and presentation by candidates to a selection committee, consultations with the community, or a primary, and no more big speeches.

Commenting on the guidelines, the Conservative Party Chairman, Francis Maude said: “These guidelines are further evidence that the Party is changing. If we want to be more inclusive, we must actively seek to include.

That is why we are changing the way we go about selecting candidates to make sure that we include the whole community a candidate seeks to represent.”