September 18 2014 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Thursday, August 14, 2014
With Boris Johnson declaring his intention to become an MP, speculation is already rife over who could succeed him as Mayor of London.
Hampstead actor Tom Conti offered his services to the Tories in 2008 before toying with the idea of standing four years later – and he is now mulling it over once again ahead of the next mayoral election in 2016.
The 72-year-old star of films such as Shirley Valentine told the Ham&High this week that he would be standing for office “out of rage”.
“It’s something I would quite like to do and there are quite a few things I would like to try,” he said.
“One of them is to try to reduce the whole cost of the exercise for Londoners.
“Londoners have to pay for national government, local government and the mayor’s office – that’s a lot of financial strain.”
He added: “The motivation is out of rage. Lots of people enter politics because they are angry about the way things are – life is very difficult for people in London.”
Mr Conti – who would seek Conservative backing as “it is impossible to run as an independent” – believes Londoners “might be pleased not to have a politician” and he already has a few policy ideas up his sleeve.
As well as slashing City Hall costs, he would like to trial smaller school classroom sizes – funded by business – and increase seating capacity on public transport.
He also criticised the so-called “Boris Bus”, dubbing it a waste of money.
He said: “A bus doesn’t have to beautiful, it has to be practical. It should be as cheap as you can make it.”