George Galloway announces he will run for London mayor

George Galloway Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption George Galloway announced on Twitter that he will run for Mayor of London

Controversial former MP George Galloway is to seek election as the next mayor of London.

The Respect Party leader, who has threatened a legal challenge over his general election defeat, declared his bid on Twitter.

Mr Galloway posted a picture of himself sitting on an unmade bed with his young son and the slogan "Dad, you've got to do this. I've got your back!".

"I'm standing for Mayor of London 2016," he added.

He told BBC London 94.9 he would merge the Met Police and the City of London Police if he became mayor.

On 7 May, Mr Galloway lost the Bradford West Commons seat he took from Labour, his former party, in a 2012 by-election.

The seat was won by Labour's Naz Shah by a majority of more than 11,000 following a bitter campaign.

Afterwards he said he would seek to have the result set aside over claims of candidates making false statements.

Police investigations

Mr Galloway was reported to police for allegedly breaking election law. He is said to have retweeted his party's own exit poll before voting ended.

A complaint against him over his use of parliamentary funds while an MP has also been referred to the police.

Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption The election for mayor will take place in May 2016
Image copyright George Galloway
Image caption George Galloway and his son featured in the tweet announcing his plans

The City Hall election will take place in May 2016 when Boris Johnson, who returned to the Commons at the general election, steps down after two terms.

Eight Labour politicians are set to fight to be their party's candidate, including Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, and Tessa Jowell, former MP for Dulwich and West Norwood.

A shortlist will be drawn up next month by a party committee and the Labour candidate will be chosen in September.

The Conservatives have not yet revealed when they plan to run their selection process although deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh, London Assembly member Andrew Boff and businessman Ivan Massow have so far said they are running.

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