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.