UK

Sol Campbell Reveals House Of Lords Ambitions But Worries About 'Jumping In Too Early'

25/11/2015 15:16 GMT | Updated 26/11/2015 07:59 GMT

Former England defender Sol Campbell is making plans to extend his political career with a peerage, after previously putting himself forward to be the Conservative London Mayoral candidate.

Campbell, who was an Arsenal and international football player, told The Huffington Post UK he has spoken to leaders of political parties with an eye to joining the House of Lords.

Asked if he had a future in politics, he said: "I think there could be a future, I think I've got to choose it wisely. I have said I like Lord area, because I can keep my day to day job and then also be effective."

sol campbell

Sol Campbell

Campbell, who has previously been coy about his political ambitions, said he was trying to become a lord but wanted to be "measured" in his approach.

Speaking to HuffPost UK at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) awards, which reward small charities around the UK, Campbell said he was taking wanted to "see how it all works, see how the landscape lies, and just be gradual cause you don't want to jump in too early and almost get burned, it's got to be measured."

He said he had spoken to party leaders. "I've said I want to pursue it, and see how long and how far and what you have to do, and it's a process and I think it's at an embryonic stage but let's see what happen."

Campbell said he plans to "help out" The Tory London Mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith with his leadership bid, after he failed to make the shortlist for the position himself.

The former sportsman, who is involved in youth work and set up his own charity, also talked about disengaged young people who are at risk of radicalisation.

"I don't want the scenario of Paris. Yes, it's a horrible thing what's happened there, but also over the years they've taken everybody out into the outer areas, so these areas have almost become, not breeding grounds but also people can get away with a lot of things, and it's almost what have you done for me lately, you know?

"So if you have a generation of people who feel they are not engaged or don't think they're ever going to get engaged, then there's going to be obviously a different voice coming in to take that place to say 'Well, they haven't done anything for you lately, I think this is the way you can go.'

"[The young people] might say no in the beginning, but if that happens after year after year, then i's almost like chucking a net out there, and sooner or later you're going to get someone. And I think if you don't put anything in place to give them a proper option, then that can happen."

He said travel was one barrier to young people finding opportunities and jobs. "Sometimes they don't even have the money to go for the interview, so that's important, and then encouragement thought mentoring or maybe schooling, that they can actually go beyond their reach. I know it's an old saying, but it is true in some parts of the country - some kids don't know how to go beyond their reach."

Campbell was attending the CSJ Awards on 24 November at the Royal Horticultural Halls, along with stars including Tamsin Greig, Ben Fogle and Ester Rantzen, and politicians such as CSJ founder and work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

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Sol Campbell was presenting an award at the Centre for Social Justice Awards. The Huffington Post UK is the media partner for the CSJ Awards 2015, which recognise UK charities that display innovation and effectiveness in addressing the root causes of poverty, transforming lives and reversing social breakdown.