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Boris Johnson today refused to rule out seeking to become Conservative Party leader while serving as Mayor of London. The Mayor previously pledged to serve out his second term in full, stating that the Mayoralty could not “be combined with any other political capacity.”

Under questioning from Tom Copley AM at today’s Mayor’s Question Time, Boris was asked to publicly confirm that if elected as an MP next May he would not, whilst Mayor, accept a Cabinet post or run for Leader of the Conservative Party if the position became vacant. The Mayor refused to rule out the prospect, arguing that he would not answer hypothetical questions.

Copley argued that if elected, Boris should only serve as a backbench MP until the end of his term as Mayor of London (due to expire in May 2016), as the time needed to devote to leading a political party would be incompatible with remaining Mayor.

Commenting on his exchange with the Mayor, Labour Londonwide Assembly Member Tom Copley said:

“Being an MP is one thing. Taking a Cabinet post or running for the leadership of the Conservative Party are quite different. Both require an immense amount of time and energy and would be entirely incompatible with remaining London Mayor. I gave the Mayor the opportunity to be straight with Londoners for once, and to show his commitment to this city by ruling out going for the Conservative leadership or a Cabinet post while also Mayor. He refused this opportunity.

“If Londoners wanted an insight into the Mayor’s motives, this is surely it. When he stood down as an MP in June 2008 following his election as Mayor he said: "this job, here in City Hall, is simply too big, and it is growing all the time". Yet now he is refusing to guarantee that he would only serve as a backbencher while also Mayor.

“Boris has already broken his pledge not to run for Parliament, and now he is refusing to rule out running for the Conservative leadership at the same time as being London Mayor. It is yet another snub from a man who has grown used to breaking his promises to Londoners.”

ENDS

Notes

1.    Tom Copley is a London-wide Labour member of the London Assembly.

2.    A webcast of today’s session will shortly be available online here.

3.    The Mayor had previously told the Evening Standard that he would not entertain joining the Cabinet until his City Hall term ends in 2016.

4.    Johnson's final appearance as MP, BBC News, 4 June 2008.

Boris refuses to rule out Tory leadership bid while Mayor

Boris Johnson today refused to rule out seeking to become Conservative Party leader while serving as Mayor of London. The Mayor previously pledged to serve out his second term in...

Fireworks

London Assembly Labour Group Leader, Len Duvall, has today responded to news that the Mayor will charge £10 for tickets to London's iconic New Year's Eve fireworks display. 

“While public safety must be top priority, the Mayor needs to make the case that ticketing is the best way of achieving this. Without that transparency people may see this as little more than a money making exercise, especially if costs are allowed to creep up each year.

“London’s fireworks are one of the most iconic New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world, but it is important that enjoying the celebrations does not become prohibitively expensive for average Londoners and the many thousands of tourists who come to watch them. £10 a ticket might not seem extortionate but for a family the cost can quickly rack up.

“Around 500,000 attended the fireworks last year, yet only 100,000 tickets will be on sale this year. Either hundreds of thousands of people will miss out or many will still turn up in the hope of seeing the display without paying. How will these extra people be accommodated, and how will the authorities prevent a two-tier system of spectators developing – those paying and those not?”

Statement on £10 New Year Fireworks Charge

London Assembly Labour Group Leader, Len Duvall, has today responded to news that the Mayor will charge £10 for tickets to London's iconic New Year's Eve fireworks display. 

House

Tom Copley AM has responded to ONS figures published today that show house prices in London rose by 19.1% in the year to July.

Responding to ONS figures published today that show house prices in London rose by 19.1% in the year to July, Tom Copley, London Assembly Labour Group Spokesperson on Housing, commented:

“With the Mayor only building a third of the homes needed to keep pace with demand in London it is no surprise that prices are continuing to soar. With house prices rising almost twenty per cent in the past year, owning a home in the capital is becoming an ever more distant dream for more Londoners.

“It is staggering that the average home in London now costs over half a million pounds despite many people’s wages flat lining. It is high time the Mayor faces up to the scale of the capital’s growing housing crisis. The first step is to get London building the homes it needs, something he has failed to do for six years now.”

Tom Copley AM Statement on London House Price Figures

Tom Copley AM has responded to ONS figures published today that show house prices in London rose by 19.1% in the year to July.

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