David Lammy MP announces bid to become Labour's London mayor

MP for Tottenham is first to throw his hat in the ring

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David Lammy has fired the starting gun in the race to be Labour’s candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.

The Tottenham MP, who would become the capital’s first black mayor if he won the 2016 Mayoral election, must first win a battle in which he faces stiff competition inside his own party.

Other potential runners for Labour include Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Olympics Minister, Sadiq Khan, the shadow Justice Secretary, and Diane Abbott, the left-wing backbencher. Labour’s candidate will be chosen in an US-style primary open to the public as well as party members.

Speaking on London Live, Mr Lammy, a former Higher Education Minister, said he would not serve as an MP and Mayor at the same time, as Mr Johnson would do for a year if he succeeds in returning to Westminster  at next May’s general election. Mr Lammy promised to resign as an MP immediately if he won the Labour nomination. “You can’t do both jobs and I think that’s the pickle Boris has got himself into,” he said.

He pledged to be more inclusive than Mr Johnson and Labour’s Ken Livingstone, who served two terms as Mayor. “I have huge respect for Ken and his achievements but the criticism of both previous Mayors is that they were Mayor for part of London and not for all. I am in the centre of British politics,” he said.

Mr Lammy opposed Labour’s plan for a mansion tax on home worth more than £2m but called for more council tax bands and refused to rule out targeting properties worth £1m.