London

Mayor Boris Johnson to stand for re-election in 2012

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is to stand for re-election in 2012.

There had been speculation Conservative Mr Johnson might choose not to run in protest at the funding cuts being made by the coalition government.

He has raised concerns about the threat to the £16bn Crossrail project.

Mr Johnson, who was elected in 2008, described being mayor as the "most brilliant job in British politics" and said he was "determined to keep fighting for London".

Some of the mayor's advisers had been concerned an election in 2012 would be difficult for a Conservative candidate to win because it will be mid-term for the coalition government and the electorate will have felt the impact of the spending cuts.

But speaking on BBC London 94.9, Mr Johnson pledged to defend London against spending cuts which he believes could damage the city's ability to generate economic growth.

He said: "I want to get the best possible settlement for London.

"David [Cameron] and George [Osborne] know the value of London and its transport infrastructure.

"London drives investment and creates jobs throughout the UK."

He added: "We have done good things but there is a big list of fantastic things we still want to achieve and two years is not enough time to achieve them."

Announcing his plans to stand for second term, he joked: "I have written a letter to the relevant person in high command for the nomination, but whether they give it to me is another question."

Caroline Roberts, regional chairman of London Conservatives, said Mr Johnson will be asked to speak at a meeting on 14 October and take questions prior to a vote on his re-selection as prospective candidate.

Asked earlier on LBC radio if his decision meant the end of his ambition to become prime minister, he said: "I have more chance of being decapitated by a Frisbee."

Labour are to decide later this month whether former mayor Ken Livingstone or former Labour MP Oona King will be their candidate to challenge Mr Johnson.

Mr Livingstone said: "Boris Johnson cannot escape the fact that he has pioneered huge cuts in London and he vigorously campaigned for his Tory colleagues to win the general election, knowing full well the economic policy they would deliver and the damage they would do to policing and transport.

"The government's cuts are his cuts."

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