Johnson to stand for second term as Mayor
Boris Johnson is preparing to run for another four years as the Mayor of London, Conservative sources disclosed last night.
Mr Johnson is expected next month to confirm his candidacy for the 2012 election in which he could face a rerun of his dramatic battle with the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, who has put himself forward for the Labour nomination.
Mr Johnson has to date remained elusive about his intentions, prompting speculation that he could be considering a return to Westminster. But senior Conservatives now confidently anticipate that he will run again. One source said: "It is our expectation that he will have another go."
His decision will come as a relief to Tory high command as the Mayor is regarded as a potential successor to David Cameron. Friends believe that the 46-year-old still harbours the eventual ambition to lead the party.
The London Evening Standard yesterday reported that Mr Johnson was assembling a campaign team and a fund-raising operation. Lynton Crosby, the Australian political strategist who advised on his successful 2008 campaign, could also return to mastermind the drive for votes.
Mr Johnson won 42 per cent of first- preference votes last time, after he targeted Tory-leaning boroughs in outer London, against the 36 per cent obtained by Mr Livingstone.
He could face a daunting challenge to repeat his triumph in two years' time if the Tory-led coalition government faces a backlash as it imposes spending cuts. But his high media profile, and his ability to distance himself from the Conservatives' national leadership, is bound to count in his favour. He could also benefit from the imminence of the London Olympics.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said reports he would definitely stand again were premature. But he added: "The Mayor has always made clear he thinks this is the best job in the world and if it's all going well at a suitable point in his mayoralty he would be minded to seek the people's endorsement to run again. He has signalled in the past that he would come to that decision in the summer."
Oona King, the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, is also putting herself forward for the Labour nomination and has won the backing of several of the capital's MPs. In addition two party activists, Emmanuel Okoro and Seton During, have declared their candidacy. Labour will confirm its shortlist today, with the winner of the nomination announced at the party conference in September.
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Glasgow 'riots': 'Dishonest' social media users accused of fuelling panic with pictures from London riots
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...