James Cracknell among high-profile Tories who may fight key constituencies

Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell and former MP Zac Goldsmith are among a clutch of high-profile Tories today hoping to be chosen to fight key London constituencies.

James Cracknell Credit: PA

Conservative associations in crucial marginal seats including Richmond Park and Brentford & Isleworth are meeting to select candidates.

Double Olympic gold medallist Cracknell is hoping to stand for the Tories in Brentford & Isleworth where Labour MP Ruth Cadbury is defending a 465 vote majority.

Zac Goldsmith Credit: PA

Cracknell faces a challenge from former MP and adviser to the Queen, Mary McLeod, who lost the seat to Labour in the 2015 general election.

Goldsmith is one of three Tories hoping to be chosen to fight Richmond Park where he was defeated in a by-election in November by Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney.

Goldsmith triggered the by-election in protest at government backing for a third runway at Heathrow and stood as an independent but lost by 1,872 votes.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and newly-elected Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney Credit: PA

London Assembly member Shaun Bailey is on a shortlist of three hoping to fight Hornchurch & Upminister in place of retiring MP Dame Angela Watkinson.

Shaun Bailey Credit: PA

Bailey failed to take Hammersmith from veteran Labour MP Andy Slaughter in 2010.

Hammesmith & Fulham Council opposition leader Greg Smith is among three Tories hoping to fight Ealing Central & Acton, Labour's most marginal seat in London. MP Rupa Huq defends a majority of just 274.