The final hustings (husting?) for the Conservative mayoral hopefuls was at the Sidcup Rugby club last night. Here is my take on the evening, please bear in mind that I introduced Boris at his launch event but I will try to be fair and accurate.
There were fewer people at the meeting than I would have expected although I know a number of people had already been to earlier hustings and the bulk of Lewisham’s Conservatives were at a reception in Blackheath with Francis Maude.
The speeches and Q&A reinforced the impression that I held about each of the candidates.
Andrew Boff gave a good speech and had a confident, easy manner, in both the speech and the Q&A he was clearly the most populist with bold and unambiguous commitments to cut the numbers of London Assembly staff, reduce costs and not spend any extra money on the Olympics. Stirring stuff but it may prove tough to implement.
Boris Johnson spoke passionately, if a little quickly. I felt that he articulated the most complete “vision” of what he would like to achieve and while keeping humorous showed that he had thought deeply about the issues.
Victoria Borwick spoke very clearly and professionally, she stuck to her core theme of crime reduction with a New York style zero tolerance policy. Her speach didn’t have the passion that some of the others had but was clearly well thought out.
Warwick Lightfoot has a wealth of experience and really knows his stuff. For a professional number cruncher has spoke very well and probably impressed a number of people who didn’t know him before the event.
I felt that Boris came across best with Warwick Lightfoot next. They would all be able to do a better job than Livingstone as Mayor but I still feel that Boris Johnson gives us the very best chance of winning.