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New candidate for Tory Mayor of London receives backing of Penny Mordaunt

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Another candidate competing to be the Conservative candidate in next year’s London Mayoral election has thrown their hat into the ring – and the Express can reveal a number of prominent endorsements.

Conservative Assembly member Andrew Boff formally launched his campaign to take the nomination this morning, after previously standing against Shaun Bailey last time.

Mr Boff has already secured the backing of 50 Conservative councillors, and is promising to make London a “safer, more affordable city”.

His opening gambit, like other declared candidates, is to scrap Sadiq Khan’s hated expansion of the ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).

He also promises to restore local policing and build more quality homes.

Mr Boff’s 50 council backers wanting him to defeat Sadiq Khan stretch across 15 boroughs.

This afternoon, can reveal Andrew Boff has also secured high-profile backers within the Conservative Parliamentary Party.

Steve Baker MP has endorsed Mr Boff, saying his “experience in serving the people of London for decades as both a councillor and London Assembly member fits him to be a leading contender in this race.”

Commons leader – and sword-carrying hero of the Coronation – Penny Mordaunt has also thrown her weight behind Mr Boff.

Ms Mordaunt says: “Boff is London. He lives it, loves it, fights for it”.

“He is the most dedicated and formidable campaigner. Totally authentic and completely passionate about making life better for all Londoners and increasing opportunity for this great city.”

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Ruislip MP David Simmonds has also backed Mr Boff, saying he’s been a “fantastic London Conservative for decades”.

Mr Simmonds describes Boff, who is openly gay and an advocate for LGBT rights, as “A Mayoral hopeful, GLA member, borough leader, rights campaigner and minority icon”.

“He grasps the detail needed to make the policy changes that London needs without losing sight of the big picture of our capital and its place in the world from which it draws its prosperity.”

Mr Boff now joins Samuel Kasumu, Susan Hall and Nick Rogers among the openly declared candidates for the Tory nomination.

London minister Paul Scully is also set to declare his candidacy on Monday, and it’s understood fellow senior MPs Tom Tugendhat and Kit Malthouse are also called on to stand.

London Conservatives who want the prize role have until May 24 to submit their papers.

The successful three-person shortlist, selected by the party, will then go on to face London members of the party for hustings, debates and campaigning before the eventual winner is announced in the middle of July.

That will then leave 10 months for the Tory Candidate to campaign against Sadiq Khan before the Mayoral Election in 2024.

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