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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Johnson launches London mayor bid
Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is the highest profile Conservative candidate
Conservative MP Boris Johnson has launched his campaign to become the Conservative candidate in next year's elections to be mayor of London.

The Henley MP said he "loved" London but said he wanted to improve housing and transport, and to challenge the "culture of incivility".

The candidate will be chosen by a vote in which all Londoners can take part.

The others on the Tory shortlist are party activists Andrew Boff, Victoria Borwick and Warwick Lightfoot.

Mr Johnson told supporters and journalists at County Hall he wanted 24-hour policing, Crossrail built, a new "iconic" version of the admired Routemaster bus, a way of keeping temperatures lower on the Underground and to promote cycling.

He said many people had asked him if he would axe the congestion charge - but said he would not scrap it "without a better solution" to achieve its objectives.

Mr Johnson, who has been involved a series of media furores over comments about Portsmouth, Jamie Oliver and Liverpool, has a high profile partly as a result of frequent appearances on television shows including Have I Got News for You.

He said he was "deadly serious" in seeking the Conservative candidature but said he "reserves the right... to make jokes".

The Conservative mayoral candidates will take part in hustings next week, with ballot papers available until 23 September.

Anyone registered to vote in London, irrespective of which party they support, can vote in the ballot which closes on 26 September. The result is due to be announced the next morning.

Johnson says he will improve quality of life for Londoners

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