Tessa Jowell has reacted to the news that Boris Johnson is planning to run as an MP – and dropped a massive hint that she’ll be standing for London Mayor, saying she’s “taking this time to prepare my potential offer to Londoners”. Jowell stops short of making a formal announcement (she says “this is not a time for formal decision or declaration” and points to the importance of focussing on the general election) – but it seems overwhelmingly likely that Jowell, who is one of the frontrunners, will be on the starting line when the mayoral race starts. Here’s her statement:
“I wish Boris Johnson well and don’t underestimate the difficulty of his decision. But between now and 2016 Boris Johnson’s first overriding obligation is to London and Londoners and we will continue to hold him to account on the degree of his commitment and effectiveness.
“There will be much speculation about candidates; Labour, Tory and other parties. I will certainly be taking this time to prepare my potential offer to Londoners, but this is not a time for formal decision or declaration.
“There are many uncertainties between now and 2016, and Labour in London must not be distracted from the crucial task of representing Londoners and winning in those marginal seats which will contribute to a Labour victory next year. A victory which will enormously improve Londoners’ lives by building homes, helping young people get the skills they need to get jobs, supporting London’s growing and divergent economy and acting to tackle the driving causes of the inequalities that continue to scar our city.”
The only candidate to have officially launched his campaign so far is transport expert and writer Christian Wolmar, but more are expected in the months ahead…