Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Redhead Aiming to Challenge Red Ken; Zero-Tolerance from Woman Entering Tory Mayoral Candidacy Race

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Redhead Aiming to Challenge Red Ken; Zero-Tolerance from Woman Entering Tory Mayoral Candidacy Race

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY;PIPPA CRERAR

THE first woman candidate in David Cameron's new-style London mayoral contest stepped forward today with a call for zero-tolerance policing.

Auburn-haired businesswoman Victoria Borwick, a mother of four, launched her campaign with the slogan: "London needs a redhead, not Red Ken." In her first policy pledge, she said she would hire a senior American police officer to be her "crime czar" if elected mayor. She would bring in New York-style zero-tolerance police policies and hire an extra 600 officers to guard Tube stations.

Kensington and Chelsea councillor Ms Borwick stood twice previously to be the Conservative candidate for mayor and has also been a running mate to Steve Norris.

She is the second candidate to formally declare an interest in the top London job after fellow councillor Warwick Lightfoot, who worked as an adviser to three Tory chancellors.

Under Mr Cameron's reforms, the latest contest will be an "open primary" in which all Londoners, including those who support Labour or no party at all, will be allowed to vote.

But heavyweight candidates have been thin on the ground, prompting unease in senior Tory circles that the contest could be a damp squib.

The deadline for entries is 4 August and the party has been desperately trying to cajole high-profile figures from business and charities to take part.

Ms Borwick, 50, is running on a platform of cutting the Mayor's share of the council tax, reducing waste and raising standards in schools.

She said: "My top priority will be a New York-style crackdown on crime. I will hire a top US cop, who has made zero tolerance work, as my police adviser."

However, she admitted she has not identified anyone who would be suitable or willing.

She said: "In New York since 1990, murders are down 76 per cent, rape down 48 per cent, assault down 61 per cent, robbery down 76 per cent, burglary 80 per cent and car crime down 88 per cent. …

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