NEW YORK -- Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, could replace Boris Johnson as London mayor, according to unnamed sources in one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers.
The Sunday Times reported that the 73-year-old billionaire businessman is “considering” running as a Tory candidate in the British capital, having served three terms as mayor of Gotham. The New York Post splashed on the story, despite a close friend of Bloomberg dismissing the report in the same article. The New York Post is also owned by Rupert Murdoch.
The Queen knighted Bloomberg in 2014 in gratitude for his charitable work; the anglophile owns a home in Knightsbridge and serves on the board of the Old Vic theatre.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Steve Hilton, a former adviser to David Cameron, said: "It would be an incredible coup for London if Mike Bloomberg could be persuaded to run for mayor here. His kind of pragmatic, problem-solving leadership is exactly what London needs."
A Tory source told the newspaper that fast-tracking Bloomberg’s British citizenship would “not be a problem,” following his investment of more than £500 million in the UK.
However, Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg’s former deputy mayor, told the New York Post, "You can quote me on the record ruling it out. He is flattered, but he loves New York City too much to leave it – and knows how tough it will be for anyone to follow Boris."
The initial report also featured heavily on Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. We await similar reports from Sky News, The Sun and The Wall Street journal.