London Mayor Johnson to run again in 2012

11th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed Friday he will seek re-election, dashing rumours that he wanted to return to parliament to challenge Prime Minister David Cameron for his job.

After refusing to state his intentions for several months, the 46-year-old said he would be "crazy" not to run for a second four-year term in May 2012, which would see him in charge for the London Olympics.

Johnson has the largest personal mandate of any politician in British history. He was the most prominent elected Conservative before Cameron led the centre-right party into government, having topped the polls in the May general election.

"With every day that passes, I have come to love and understand the complexities and challenges of the job, and I also see how much more there is to do," Johnson told the city's LBC radio.

"I will continue to work with every fibre of my being to accomplish the tasks we set ourselves in 2008."

The jovial mayor played down the suggestion that he had designs on becoming prime minister.

"I'm more likely to be decapitated by a Frisbee or locked in a disused fridge," he said.

"We have a very good prime minister. My job now is to negotiate with him and with the chancellor (finance minister George Osborne) the best possible deal for London."

Johnson is a close friend of Cameron since their days together at Oxford University and in its raucous, upper class Bullingdon Club student drinking society.

Once written off as a political buffoon, the mop-haired Johnson, a former journalist and one-time television show regular, rode to victory as London mayor in 2008, ousting Ken Livingstone on a wave of public affection for his clownish gaffes and witty soundbites.

"I always said that if I felt things were going well and if my team had more to deliver for London, then it would be crazy not to put myself forward for the party to consider," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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