Alan Johnson: 'I considered running for London mayor'

  • 18 May 2012
  • From the section London
Alan Johnson at the Labour Party conference in 2010
Image caption Alan Johnson said he would not rule out standing in 2016

Alan Johnson has said he considered running for London mayor and has hinted that he could seek the job in 2016.

The former home secretary was widely touted as Labour's candidate two years ago, before Ken Livingstone was selected.

He admitted he had doubted the wisdom of Mr Livingstone trying for a third term and "thought about" standing himself.

Ken Livingstone has said he will not stand for London mayor again.

'Age no problem'

In Parliament's weekly magazine, The House, he said: "In the end, my decision was a commitment to Hull, where I've had 15 really good years and a city which I love, rather than the city I was born in.

"There were lots of colleagues who quite liked the idea of Johnson versus Johnson.

"I left the question open at the time.

"I don't think Boris was sitting there petrified at the idea of Alan Johnson, but there were a lot of people thinking it shouldn't be a re-run of the last one."

Boris Johnson won a second term as London mayor, beating Labour rival Ken Livingstone by 3%.

Mr Johnson added: "I'm a great admirer of Ken and probably the Boris factor would have done for anyone.

"But it's very rare that you just re-run the same challenge in any sphere, that you just run the same candidate who lost some years before.

"So maybe we do need a bit of fresh blood next time that's for sure.

"I would not rule it out (for 2016)."

Mr Johnson dismissed the idea that he would be too old to make a mayoral bid in four years' time, when he will be 66.

"I don't think (the problem) was age with Ken," he said.

"If you look at some of the great mayors around the world, look at America, like New York, you have to be sort of 80 before you qualify."

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