Why Parliament Street backs Syed Kamall for mayor of London
Dynamic, engaged and a beacon of aspiration, the Parliament Street think tank is backing Syed Kamall as the Conservative candidate for London Mayor
With the election for the new Mayor of London imminent, Parliament Street has been listening carefully to what the Conservative candidates are proposing and yesterday I announced that we are backing Syed Kamall.
London born and bred, Kamall is 48 years old and the son of a Guyanese bus driver. He understood early on that the Conservative Party was going to offer more opportunities and he has dedicated his career to cultivating conservative grass roots values.
Through determination, aspiration and by heeding opportunities as they arose, Kamall believes that he is living proof that these conservative values offer Londoners, whatever their background, the chance to fulfil their potential.
Indeed it is Kamall's affinity with the people of London and his understanding of how all communities can be helped to aspire, which made his candidature so appealing to us. In an arena where political edge is honed on expensive campaigns, Kamall is representative of the new dynamic London.
He is a politician with real understanding of issues faced in communities and with the ability to reach out to people across class and ethnic divides. It is this which sets him apart from the other candidates.
If Syed Kamall's bid is successful, he will be a beacon for aspiration and social mobility to all Londoners and will use his knowledge of the city and its peoples to build a community, which fulfills these needs. He will do this by encouraging people to achieve their dreams, not by relying on state intervention but on self-belief, aspiration and the spirit of enterprise.
Although relatively unknown here at home, Kamall, who has been an MEP for London since 2005, is famous in Brussels for getting things done. As head of the European Conservative and Reformists group he was able to develop his leadership skills by bringing together multinational interests and, as ambassador for David Cameron's renegotiation of Britain’s position in Europe, his diplomatic skills have been put to good use.
In fact it can be argued that there is no better training ground than the European Union for the job of Mayor of London with its multiculturalism and diversity of interests.
However, it is not purely for Kamall's leadership skills and ability to find smooth passage through stormy seas, nor indeed his ability to encourage aspiration in London's diverse population which has convinced Parliament Street to support his mayoral bid.
We believe that it is Syed Kamall's ideas which make him the best candidate and the true heir of Osborne's vision which, while the rest of Europe is playing in defence, has made London such a dynamic and entrepreneurial city. Kamall believes in taking the bull by the horns and not falling victim to Whitehall's slow paced bureaucracy.
The rhythm of the new London is fast and Kamall is keen to tap into the “hub” philosophy and find innovative ways of funding projects. As he says, “London is a city of entrepreneurs. We should lead the way in entrepreneurial funding.”
Some of the ideas which Kamall believes should be dealt with forthwith are:
** Affordable housing, by building more homes in London for Londoners
** Digital technology, by making London the most digital friendly city in the world with access to super-fast broadband for all
** Transport and Access, by finding a long term solution to London’s airport problem rather than the sticking plaster solutions offered by others
** Heathrow will continue to have a place in the UK's aviation mix, but Kamall’s preferred solution is to build a new airport for London to meet future demand with one caveat
** Completing the transport revolution with a 24 hour service for a 24 hour city
So, please join us in backing Syed Kamall in his bid to become the next Mayor of London.
We believe that Syed Kamall is a truly dynamic candidate with a deep understanding of the everyday issues faced by London communities.
We also believe that he has a vision of enterprise, upward mobility and aspiration, which is fully in keeping with today's London and, uniquely, the experience and communication skills to make that vision accessible to every Londoner, regardless of class or creed.
Clare Ambrosino is Head of Campaigns at Parliament Street think tank and PR and Public Affairs at Media House International. @iammaeve
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