Tessa Jowell bids to replace Boris Johnson as London mayor

Dame Tessa Jowell Image copyright PA
Image caption Dame Tessa Jowell says she wants to build 2,000 new affordable homes a year on public sector land

Labour's former culture secretary Tessa Jowell has announced she will run for the next mayor of London.

Ms Jowell said she would focus on providing affordable housing, transport and "opening up opportunities" for everyone in the city.

She said she would build on public sector land for the "first time since 1986" and create 2,000 homes per year, in the next 20 years.

Transport for London's (TfL) land could also be used for the homes, she said.

The former Labour MP, who stood down at this year's general election, said she wanted "a London where everyone shares in our city's success - young and old; low and middle income as well as the better off".

Tessa Jowell's career

  • First elected to parliament in 1992
  • She was culture secretary from 2001 until 2007 and later served as paymaster general
  • A key figure behind the London bid for the 2012 Olympics
  • Served under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown and was known during her time in government as one of Mr Blair's most ardent supporters
  • Was made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2012
  • Announced in November 2013 she would stand down as an MP at the 2015 general election

The city under her stewardship would also be "intolerant of poverty, of injustice, of hopelessness", she said.

She said she wanted to set up the housing equivalent of TfL, led by a commissioner to "get London building again".

Ms Jowell said; "It's not enough for the mayor to exhort others to build homes. We've tried that - it hasn't worked.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Jowell and Olympic bid chairman Lord Sebastian Coe pushed for London to host the 2012 games

"The next mayor needs to take the lead, building thousands of homes Londoners can afford, on the vast swathes of land that the mayor owns."

She added: "I've got a plan. Not just the same old empty boasts we always hear at election time - people are switching off and who can blame them?

"And I'll tell you this - I will deliver. I will see it through, that's what I've always done."

'Ability to connect'

Ms Jowell joins fellow Labour candidates Hackney MP Diane Abbott and MP for Tottenham David Lammy, who said they would both stand for the May 2016 mayoral election.

Author and Journalist Christian Wolmar has said he too will join the race to succeed Tory Boris Johnson.

At Ms Jowell's announcement on Tuesday in Brixton, former transport secretary Lord Adonis described her as "inspirational" and ex-treasury minister Kitty Ussher said Ms Jowell would be "a fantastic mayor and exactly what London needs".

Her successor as MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes, said: "She has an ability like very few politicians to relate and connect to people from all sorts of different backgrounds across the whole community in London."

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