Steve Norris was selected by the Conservative party on Sunday 16th February as the 2004 Mayoral Candidate. He beat Tory London Assembly member Roger Evans by a wide margin winning 77% of the vote.
Norris has held a variety of posts within the Tory party including;
Member of Parliament (first for Oxford East and then for Epping Forest)
During his time as an MP he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to William Waldegrave, Nick Ridley and Kenneth Baker before becoming Minister for Transport in London in 1992.
He held that position for more than 4 years before retiring from Parliament in 1997 to become Director General of the Road Haulage Association.
In 2000 he won the Conservative party second Mayoral ballot (after the disgraced peer Lord Archer was forced to step down) and ran Ken Livingstone to a close second securing 42% of the vote on the final ballot.
Following the 2000 elections we was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Tory Party. He also accepted a place on the Board of Transport for London before stepping down following a public spat with Ken Livingstone.
He currently runs his own public affairs consultancy and is a director of a number of public and private companies.
Steve lives in Clapham with his wife Emma and their son Harry.
Outside of Conservative politics he holds the following positions:
President of the Intelligent Transport Society
President of the Motorcycle Industry Assocciation
Chairman of the National Cycling Strategy
Companion of the Institution of Civil Engineer
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport
He is also a Freeman of the City of London and a Trustee of the London Action trust.
Mr Norris is widely held to have an excellent chance to beat Mayor Livingstone in the 2004 elections. He is publicly critical of the Congestion Charge and has often voiced a preference for a levy on work place parking spaces.
Opponents have – and no doubt will continue to – attempt to exploit his connections with private business, espeically those in the transport sector.
However Mr Norris remains unashamed of his non-politcal activities telling BBCi “The companies I work for are excellent companies and if I weren’t proud of working for them I wouldn’t do so”.