UK Politics

I won't vote for Boris, says Michael Portillo

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Media captionMichael Portillo said he wanted a candidate who supported a third runway at Heathrow Airport

Conservative politician-turned-broadcaster Michael Portillo has said he will not vote for the party's London mayoral candidate, Boris Johnson.

Mr Portillo told the BBC's This Week he would back a candidate "who endorses a third runway for Heathrow airport".

Independent Siobhan Benita is the only candidate to do so - Mr Johnson wants a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

On Thursday, Labour peer Lord Sugar urged people not to vote for his party's candidate Ken Livingstone.

Mr Portillo was MP for Enfield Southgate from 1984 to 1997, and served as defence secretary under Conservative Prime Minister John Major. He returned to Parliament after winning a by-election in 1999 but did not seek re-election in 2005.

He has been a regular contributor to This Week since 2003.

'Fundamentally important'

Asked whether he wanted to give his endorsement to Mr Johnson for a second term as mayor, Mr Portillo replied: "No.

"I will be looking for a candidate who endorses a third runway for Heathrow airport, because I think that's fundamentally important to the capital and I can't understand any candidate presenting himself or herself without such a commitment."

Asked whether that meant he wouldn't be voting for Mr Johnson, he answered: "Yes."

Londoners will go the polls to vote for their next mayor on 3 May. There are a total of seven candidates.

On Thursday, The Apprentice star Lord Sugar, who is a major donor to the Labour Party, wrote on Twitter: "I seriously suggest NO ONE votes for Livingstone in the mayoral elections."

Mr Livingstone's campaign reportedly said the comments were no surprise since the pair "aren't that friendly".

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