Former IFA Ivan Massow is today launching a campaign to become Conservative candidate for Mayor of London and succeed Boris Johnson.
Massow is the only Tory candidate to declare his interest for the May 2016 election. He has been a Tory activist for years and ran for council elections under the party banner as well as for London Mayor in 2000.
In the 1990s Massow set up a successful financial advice business targeted at gay people and has set up numerous financial services’ businesses.
Current Mayor Johnson is running for parliament next year and will step down in 2016.
In an Evening Standard article today he said: “I’m just not a career politician. I didn’t go to Oxford or Eton, and I’m not part of the debating society lot who get involved in politics at an early age to the exclusion of all other roles.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur nearly all my life with lots and lots of businesses, many successful, lots of failures, I’ve had them as well.”
In August 2013 Massow shut down a controversial trail commission rebate business, which handed orphan clients back 80 per cent of the trail while keeping 20 per cent itself, and said he would lose £200,000 personally. He blamed it on escalating regulatory and professional indemnity costs.
Last September he said he “regrets terribly” telling clients he would keep 100 per cent of trail.
Speaking to Money Marketing today, Massow says: “There is a long hustings process. The Conservative party will welcome someone more London-esque. It is not a party that resonates naturally with metropolitan issues.”
When asked about his chances, he said: “I am the only candidate at this stage so at this rate…. I just don’t know, it depends who the other candidates are. In some ways it doesn’t matter because there are load of great issues we are bringing to the debate around more powers for London over policing, planning, housing and others. Even if all I end up doing is being part of the conversation about how to change London then it will be a privilege.
“What has really got me involved has been watching the Scottish debate [on devolution].”
Former Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell and MP David Lammy have declared their candidacies for the Labour party.