Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces intention to stand for Parliament again

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Boris Johnson in 2009.
Image: Think London.

Boris Johnson, the Conservative politician currently serving as Mayor of London, announced yesterday he intends to stand for Parliament in the 2015 General Election.

Johnson stated he intends to also serve out his term as London mayor which ends in 2016. He did not announce which constituency he plans to seek election in, saying it was up to local Conservative parties to make that decision. Johnson was formerly MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008 before he resigned in order to seek election as London's mayor.

He also rejected the suggestion he was trying to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, telling the BBC: "I think it's highly unlikely that that will happen because there's no vacancy. I think David Cameron has been a brilliant prime minister."

He later added in another BBC interview: "When David Cameron finally steps down, in 2030 or whenever, it may be that there's a vacancy, but it will probably be filled by a person who's a teenager now."

If elected, Johnson would be breaking a promise he made in 2012 in an interview with London's Evening Standard newspaper: "I made a solemn vow to Londoners to lead them out of recession, bring down crime and deliver the growth, investment and jobs that this city so desperately needs. Keeping that promise cannot be combined with any other political capacity".

Prime Minister David Cameron previously said Johnson was a "great striker you want on the pitch". Yesterday, David Cameron's Twitter account followed up on this: "Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year's general election — I've always said I want my star players on the pitch".

Sadiq Khan, Labour's shadow justice secretary, responded to the news by saying "Boris Johnson's announcement reveals how weak David Cameron is and how out of touch the Tories remain. [...] Today has also shown Londoners that, when they need a mayor prepared to address the big challenges facing their city, Boris Johnson's priority is succeeding David Cameron rather than serving their interests."

Conservative MP and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell welcomed Johnson's announcement: "I think he's a remarkable politician. He reaches parts of the voting public that other people don't reach. He's a part of the Conservative DNA."