Zac Goldsmith has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Boris Johnson as London mayor – the most senior Conservative to do so.
The MP for Richmond Park is writing to every voter in his constituency he won just a month to ask for their permission to run.
The Evening Standard quoted him as telling his electorate that he had been “approached by many people, from across the political spectrum and none, urging me to put my name forward” to become the Conservative candidate in next year’s contest.
But he added that local people “must have the right to say no”.
Mr Goldsmith is the most high profile Conservative to enter the race to succeed Mr Johnson, who returned to the House of Commons last month and had previously said he would not seek a third term as mayor.
Meanwhile, the race to select a Labour nominee to run for the mayoralty has picked up pace.
Five people – four of them experienced parliamentarians – have enough backing from constituency Labour members to progress to the next stage of the nomination process.
North London MPs David Lammy and Diane Abbott have both secured enough votes to make the short list, as have south London rivals Tessa Jowell and Sadiq Khan.
The transport commentator Christian Wolmar has also crossed the line and will join his four rivals in being interviewed by the Labour Party executive later this week.