Scott Payton: Who’s your dream Mayor?


Move over Boris and Ken, here’s a potential – and far more plausible – candidate

Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox, founder of Lastminute.com

Scott Payton is editor-at-large of LondonlovesBusiness.com

The London mayoral election needs some fresh blood. A new face, with the personality and persuasive power to break the Ken-Boris dichotomy. Someone who understands where London needs to head.

A person with first-hand business experience, who also knows how to work with national government to get things done.

I know who I want this candidate to be: Martha Lane-fox.

Why? She understands big business: she’s a non-executive director at Marks & Spencer as well as Channel 4.

She understands startups and SMEs: she cofounded lastminute.com in 1998 and launched karaoke bar chain Lucky Voice in 2006.

She’s champion of innovation that drives social change: she set up Antigone, a foundation that supports the technology needs and ideas of education, health and criminal justice charities in 2007.

She knows how Whitehall ticks: David Cameron appointed her as the government’s “UK Digital Champion”, and she established the Race Online 2012 campaign in 2009.

Finally, and crucially, she’s a fighter: after a horrendous jeep crash in Morocco in 2004, she was told that she might never walk again. But walk again she did.

I think she’d be perfect as a mayoral candidate – shaking up the election debate and forcing the other candidates to tackle big socioeconomic issues outside their comfort zones. And she’d be great for London’s businesses.

Who’s your dream Mayor?