It should be hoped that future Mayoral elections will see the major parties offer candidates who have served in the London Assembly. Sadly to date only the Greens have done so with Darren Johnson’s candidacy in 2004.
We’ve surely reached a point where we must aspire to call time on the practice of parties parachuting people into the race for Mayor with no hours served on the Assembly?
In terms of mandate the job of Mayor is directly comparable with that of Prime Minister or First Minister, and all parties need to start treating it as such. This means offering serious, heavyweight candidates who look like the elected representative of 7 million people spanning every social, ethnic and religious community on Earth. It also means offering candidates with a proven record in London’s government.
All parties who are serious about running the capital should be considering ways to reserve their number one slot on the London List and/or their safest Assembly seats for candidates they’d want to run in the following Mayoral election.
That person then needs to be treated as a Mayor in waiting, a Leader of London Opposition if you like. They need to take every opportunity to be seen, overcoming the biggest problem which all parties in London currently face – the low profile of Assembly.
It’s not acceptable for parties to offer candidates who the public only hear from for a few weeks every four years.