Deputy Mayor of London Victoria Borwick has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the Kensington constituency at this year’s General Election.
Speaking after the result of the ballot of local party members was announced, she said her selection was a “great honour”.
The seat is being vacated by Sir Malcolm Rifkind who is stepping down following allegations that he offered to lobby for a fictitious company in return for cash.
At the 2010 election Sir Malcolm had an 8,616 majority over his nearest rival meaning Borwick’s entry into the Commons is all but guaranteed.
Borwick is the third member of Boris Johnson’s administration to be selected for a safe seat.
Former fire authority chair James Cleverly is to stand in the Braintree constituency where the Tories have a 16,000 majority while Johnson’s former business deputy Kit Malthouse is standing in the ultra-safe seat of North West Hampshire.
Johnson is also heading back to the Commons after being selected to contest the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat.
Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore is also standing at the General Election when he’ll seek to win back the Hendon constituency he lost at the 2010 election by just 106 votes.
On election to the Commons all five would see their City Hall salary slashed by two-thirds.
Borwick says she’ll see out her current term on the London Assembly but will not stand for re-election at next year’s Assembly and Mayoral elections.
She’s due to discuss her future as deputy mayor with Johnson next week but it’s generally thought that she’ll stand down to focus on her campaign.
Borwick twice stood to become her party’s Mayoral candidate, coming second behind Boris Johnson in 2008.
The Deputy Mayor of London is a significant role as the post-holder, who must be a London Assembly member, would take over if Johnson quit City Hall later this year following his ascension to the Tory leadership.
The most likeliest candidates to replace Borwick are thought to be outgoing London Assembly chair Roger Evans or fellow Tory AMs Gareth Bacon and Steve O’Connell.
If Johnson stood down after November 5th whoever was Deputy Mayor would govern the city until next year’s City Hall election but if he went sooner they would remain mayor for just 35 days until a by-election was held.