New black candidate for mayor

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The Independent Online
A NEW black candidate for London mayor entered the race yesterday with a challenge to Blairite hopeful Trevor Phillips to back down in his favour.

Keith Kerr, British Airways' customer service manager, is seeking the Liberal Democrats' endorsement as their candidate for the directly-elected post. He stood as the party's unsuccessful candidate in the Uxbridge by- election just after the 1997 general election. Mr Kerr claims to be "one of the most senior black corporate executives in any of the FTSE 100 companies," managing a multi-billion pound budget and staff of more than 20,000.

"I've gained good all-round experience which I will use as mayor," he said. "I want to use my skills to pay back the community for what it has enabled me to achieve."

Mr Kerr challenged Mr Phillips, a black television executive and broadcaster, to abandon his pursuit of the Labour nomination for the job.

He said left-wing MP Ken Livingston was clearly the choice of Labour party members in the capital, while senior Cabinet figures had made clear they did not want the post.