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Sol Campbell plans London Mayor bid

Former England footballer Sol Campbell has confirmed his intention to run to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London by signing up for a hustings with rivals in the contest for the Conservative nomination.

The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender said he could "bring something new to the table" but acknowledged he is not going to be a "frontrunner" in the race.

Campbell, who will take part in an event alongside other candidates for the Tory nomination on July 4, said he wants to "change London for everybody".

The footballer, who also played for Portsmouth and Newcastle in his top-flight career, told the Sun: "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 added: "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."

Earlier this year Campbell ruled out standing for Parliament in Kensington and Chelsea, insisting that his "ambitions lie elsewhere in the political arena", and he campaigned alongside Tory candidates in the run-up to the general election.

Asked whether he could count on the votes of Spurs fans still bitter over his 2001 move to north London rivals Arsenal, Campbell said: " If we keep thinking about football, we're not going to do anything. We are dealing with people's lives here.

"I want to change London for everybody."

The Conservative Way Forward group confirmed that Campbell had signed up to 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? London's future is at stake."

Also in the running for the Tory candidacy are entrepreneur Ivan Massow, current deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh and London Assembly member Andrew Boff, while MP Zac Goldsmith has also been tipped as a potential challenger.


From Belfast Telegraph