Jeremy Paxman urged to run for London mayor

The idea has been greeted enthusiastically by Conservative MPs

Jeremy Paxman has been asked to stand as the Conservative candidate for London mayor by a senior figure in the party, according to a report.

The former BBC Newsnight anchor, who has described himself as a “one-nation Tory”, played down suggestions he might stand.

However The Times newspaper said he had not ruled out the idea and added it was being greeted enthusiastically by Conservative MPs.

One told the paper: “You can see how it’s an enticing prospect: him versus Sadiq Khan [tipped by some to be Labour’s candidate].

“One of who has spent their entire life beating up politicians versus someone installed by the trade unions.”

However Mr Paxman said “I shouldn’t bother, if I were you” when asked by The Times if he would encourage speculation about a possible political career.

 

In June, he told an audience at the Chalke Valley History Festival, where he was discussing his book, Britain’s Great War: “I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes.”

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