DIARY: Norris's Citigate exit creates vacancy for election campaigner

News that Citigate Public Affairs consultant and former London mayoral candidate Steve Norris is to leave the agency to focus on his political ambitions has led Diary to ponder on who he will ask to run his campaign in 2004.

Two years ago that role was filled by Golin Harris Ludgate managing director of public affairs Ceri Evans, and it proved such a moving experience he announced his defection to New Labour shortly after.

Evans, persona non grata in Smith Square since his inglorious fence jump, is now playing down suggestions he may be set for a return to the Tory fold.

'Steve hasn't asked me and we haven't discussed it, but London deserves better than Ken,' Evans says, in what sounds suspiciously like a job application.

For his part, Norris - who is known to have maintained close links with his campaign team since their disbandment in May 2000 - is keeping his cards close to his chest: 'I have made no decisions on staff yet but am keen to stand.'

'Ken's a funny guy, but I don't approve of him being Mayor,' he adds.

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