Zac Goldsmith’s victory surprised pundits, taking a seat held by the Liberal Democrats for 13 years.

The multi-millionaire told reporters he had first approached the Conservatives to help weave green thinking into their policies.

The seat was one of the key Tory targets the party had hoped to take from the Lib Dems but had been viewed as one of the most likely to benefit from ‘Clegg-mania’ and the apparent surge in popularity of the Lib Dem leader.

Goldsmith has gone on record to say he will stand up for his green principles, and stand down if key pledges are broken.

Some of these have national significance – such as the promise not to approve a third runway at Heathrow airport – while others are local issues, such as a guarantee that there will be no charging to enter Richmond Park, a thousand acre park on the fringes of London famous for its deer.

Sam Bond

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