POLITICS

Boris Johnson Finally Admits He Will Seek Election To Parliament In 2015

06/08/2014 10:22 BST | Updated 06/08/2014 16:59 BST

Boris Johnson has finally revealed that he intends to stand for election to parliament in 2015, after avoiding the question for years.

Speaking at Bloomberg's HQ in central London on Tuesday morning, Boris said he had "danced around" the question of whether he wanted to become an Conservative MP again for too long. "I can't endlessly go on dodging these question as I have tried to do," he said.

"I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015. It is highly likely I will be unsuccessful in that venture by the way," he said.

The London mayor said he did not have a specific seat lined up to stand in at the general election, but admitted he could not seek election to the Commons "furtively".

Boris' second term as mayor ends in 2016. But Boris insisted he would remain in the job until the end. "I will serve out my mandate here in London," he said. This means if he is successfully elected to parliament at the next election he would be both mayor and an MP at the same time.

One constituency that would suit Boris is the London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, which will select its candidate in the next two weeks. Before being elected mayor in 2008, Boris was the MP for Henley from 2001.

There is no rule which prevents a sitting London mayor also serving as an MP. Ken Livingstone remained a Labour MP for a year after being election the capital's first mayor in 2000.

But Boris' is likely to be criticised by Labour for appearing to break a pledge not to do both jobs at the same time. When he was re-elected to City Hall in 2012 he told the Evening Standard being mayor "cannot be combined with any other political capacity".

It is widely believed that Boris wants to return to parliament in order to one day stand to be leader of the Conservative Party. Asked about whether he wanted to succeed David Cameron in the top job, Boris said he did not want to return to "weasel words", but dodged the question.

Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary and a likely Labour candidate for mayor in 2016, was quick to criticise the mayor for deciding to seek election to the Commons.

"Boris Johnson has made it absolutely clear today that his priority is succeeding David Cameron as Tory leader rather than serving the interests of Londoners. London deserves better than this," he said.

Cameron, who has encouraged Boris to stand for the Commons despite their rivalry, welcomed the announcement. "Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year's general election - I've always said I want my star players on the pitch," he tweeted.

And Grant Shapps, the chairman of the Conservative Party, said he was "delighted" that Boris hoped to return to parliament.

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