Campbell Takes Aim At London Mayor Job

Ziggy | 01 Jan, 1970 12:00AM | Leave a comment

Former England footballer Sol Campbell has announced his bid to run for London Mayor, accusing "pro" politicians of failing and saying his working-class background would help him.

Campbell's name has long been in the running to be a Conservative candidate for the job but now he has officially confirmed his intentions.

The ex-Arsenal and Spurs player will take part in a hustings event with rivals to become the Tory candidate who will challenge for the job that will be vacated by Boris Johnson in next May.

Campbell said: "I'm going in with my eyes wide open. I know I'm not going to be a frontrunner.

"But I look at people who have been in politics for five, 10, 15 years, and muck up, you see them muck up and think 'You guys are supposed to be pro!'

"People that have gone to Oxbridge, had thousands spent on their education, and I mean they are royally mucking up."

He told The Sun: "I bring something new to the table. This is a whole new road for me, something I can get my teeth into, but I just felt it was something I had to do.

"I come from a working-class background, it wasn't easy for me at all, but I worked hard. And now it's about giving something back."

The Conservative Way Forward group confirmed Campbell would take part in its mayoral hustings next month.

A Conservative Way Forward spokesman said: "We are delighted that candidates like Sol Campbell are throwing their hat in the ring, and coming to debate the future of London at our hustings on 4 July. It's decision time. The starting gun has been fired. Other candidates now need to decide: are they in or out?"

Campbell will be going up against financial entrepreneur Ivan Massow, current deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh and London Assembly member Andrew Boff.

There have also been suggestions Zac Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond who increased his majority by more than four times in May, might challenge to become Conservative candidate.

Mr Goldsmith fiercely opposes proposals for a third runway at Heathrow and before the election threatened to trigger a by-election if a Conservative Government approved plans.

Labour runners include Dame Tessa Jowell, and MPs Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and David Lammy.