Businessman and gay rights campaigner Ivan Massow says he wants to become the Conservative candidate for London Mayor in 2016 and succeed Boris Johnson at City Hall.
Mr Massow rose to prominence after he set up an insurance company specialising in policies for gay people who were being denied cover by established firms.
He later quit the Conservative party over its stance on gay rights and campaigned for the repeal of Section 28.
Today he said: “I resigned from the Conservative Party at the turn of the century, wanting to jolt the party out its 1950s mindset, and while I still stand by my decision, I’m older and wiser now, with greyer hair and a calmer approach.”
Mr Massow is the first Conservative to declare their interest in standing.
Writing in the Evening Standard, he said Londoners “need to join the debate on devolution and, as with Scotland, focus more decision-making and fiscal power here in London, for Londoners, so that we can crack on with getting the best for our city and fixing our problems without further alienating the rest of the country.”
He also promised to introduce a Londoners’ Card giving residents “with an array of benefits paid for by new levies on tourism, a city tax, for example as they have in Barcelona and Rome, and a museums charge, so that those five million tourists a year help support our city.”