Voters in Richmond Park have overwhelmingly backed Zac Goldsmith’s bid to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor.
Earlier this month the Tory MP wrote to all registered voters in his constituency asking for their permission to stand, saying it was the right thing to do given that he’d only just been re-elected to the Commons.
Almost 20,000 constituents responded, with 15,802 saying Mr Goldsmith should stand for mayor and just 3,569 against.
He will now join London’s deputy mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh, footballer Sol Campbell, London Assembly member Andrew Boff, MEP Syed Kamall and businessman Ivan Massow in a ballot of Tory party members to select a candidate.
Mr Goldsmith said: “Having just been given the green light to run by my constituents, I have a lot of work to do to earn selection as the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor.
“I will work tirelessly to repay my constituents’ loyalty and to gain the trust of Londoners so we can make London an even greater and more liveable city.”
He praised the incumbent mayor, saying: “London has become the world’s greatest city with all the benefits that brings” under his watch and promised to stand up to the UK Government when its policies didn’t represent “a fair deal” for Londoners.
Mr Goldsmith, who won his parliamentary seat from the Liberal Democrats in 2010 and is a high profile campaigner against Heathrow expansion and for environmental policies, is widely considered to be his party’s best chance of retaining City Hall next May.