Former Mayoral candidate Steve Norris has tipped Zac Goldsmith to run for Mayor of London in 2016.
Speaking at the MIPIM real estate exhibition, Mr Norris said he expected the Richmond Park MP to seek the Tory nomination in the race to succeed Boris Johnson.
The Mayor is standing down at next year’s election after 8 years at City Hall and will seek to become an MP at this year’s General Election.
Although a potential bid for the Mayoralty has long been rumoured, Goldsmith has repeatedly played down any prospect of him running.
While a number of senior Labour MPs, including Diane Abbott and Dame Tessa Jowell, are seeking their party’s nomination, interest in becoming the Tory candidate has been more muted.
So far the only contenders to express an interest are London Assembly member Andrew Boff, businessman Ivan Massow and Stephen Greenhalgh, Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for policing and crime.
Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and member of the Transport for London board, has also hinted that he’s interested in standing.
Goldsmith won his Richmond Park seat from former Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Susan Kramer in 2010 and supportive comments from senior Green politicians suggest he could have the cross-party appeal needed to win City Hall.