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Who is Sa­muel Ka­sumu and could he be our next Mayor?

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HE has a sharp mind, is driven by the pur­suit of so­cial jus­tice and has the Prime Min­is­ter’s ear. Now Sa­muel Ka­sumu is tipped to be the next Tory can­di­date for Lon­don Mayor in 2024. But who is he?

Un­til last April, Ka­sumu, 33, was Boris John­son’s spe­cial ad­viser for civil so­ci­ety and com­mu­ni­ties, a role he had held since 2019. He tried to quit twice. First in Fe­bru­ary, when he ac­cused the Tories of pur­su­ing a “pol­i­tics steeped in divi­sion”. Vac­cines min­is­ter Nad­him Za­hawi per­suaded him to stay but un­der­ly­ing prob­lems had not been re­solved. Even­tu­ally, he re­signed amid the con­tro­versy over the Gov­ern­ment’s racial dis­par­ity re­port. No 10 said there was no link be­tween his res­ig­na­tion and the re­port, which was crit­i­cised for say­ing the UK had no prob­lem with race. But Lord Wool­ley, who ap­pointed Ka­sumu to No10’s racial dis­par­ity unit un­der Theresa May, thinks the tim­ing was no coin­ci­dence.

Ka­sumu, who is Lon­don-born to Nige­rian par­ents, has said that the UK is at a crit­i­cal junc­ture where politi­cians need to calm the rhetoric over cul­tural di­vi­sions. De­spite his de­par­ture, John­son is a fan. He worked with Ka­sumu on vac­cine take-up among more hes­ti­tant groups and com­mu­ni­ties and said “he’s done some great stuff”. Watch this space.

SA­MUEL KA­SUMU made a pub­lic exit as Down­ing Street’s race re­la­tions ad­viser in May, but it seems Tory high com­mand have no hard feel­ings.

The Lon­doner hears Ka­sumu has been sounded out as a pos­si­ble can­di­date for the next Lon­don may­oral race.

“There are dis­cus­sions around a po­ten­tial joint ticket,” a source tells us, adding that Ka­sumu has im­pressed with re­cent me­dia per­for­mances.

He ap­peared on the Robert Pe­ston show and crit­i­cised min­is­ters who want to “ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in a cul­ture war”. Ka­sumu was No 10’s spe­cial ad­viser for civil so­ci­ety and com­mu­ni­ties un­til he quit af­ter the pub­li­ca­tion of the Sewell race re­port. Ka­sumu, 33, is still on good terms with the Prime Min­is­ter and the source added that the Tory coun­cil­lor could have a broad reach. An­other Tory source said the can­di­date would be picked “in the usual way” by a poll of mem­bers.

He ap­peared on the Robert Pe­ston show and crit­i­cised min­is­ters who want to “ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in a cul­ture war”. Ka­sumu was No 10’s spe­cial ad­viser for civil so­ci­ety and com­mu­ni­ties un­til he quit af­ter the pub­li­ca­tion of the Sewell race re­port. Ka­sumu, 33, is still on good terms with the Prime Min­is­ter and the source added that the Tory coun­cil­lor could have a broad reach. An­other Tory source said the can­di­date would be picked “in the usual way” by a poll of mem­bers.

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