Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 13:02 UK

Johnson 'dedicated' to mayor job

London Mayor Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson has dismissed press reports that he "despises" Mr Cameron

Boris Johnson has said he is "utterly dedicated to London" and that his post as London mayor is "almost certainly my last big job in British politics".

His comments to the ConservativeHome website appear to quash rumours he is attempting to become Tory leader.

He has recently expressed views on issues such as grammar schools and Labour's 50p tax rate for high-earners, which differ from the party line.

But he dismissed reports he "despises" Tory leader David Cameron as "tripe".

Mr Johnson told the website that he regarded reports of tensions between him and Mr Cameron as a "pathetically schematic" attempt by Labour and the media to stage a re-run of the stories about the difficult relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Fuelled rumours

He fuelled rumours at Westminster earlier this week by comparing himself with Michael Heseltine, who challenged Margaret Thatcher for the leadership in 1990 after repeatedly saying he could not "foresee the circumstances" in which he would launch a bid to oust her.

Asked in a newspaper interview whether he would be a one-term mayor, Mr Johnson replied that "nothing is excluded". He said a bid for Number 10 was "not on my agenda".

He also said he would advise a Tory government to scrap the 50% tax rate for earnings over £150,000 announced in the budget last week.

Mr Cameron had said he would not commit to reversing the new rate.

The mayor also supports grammar schools by calling for academic selection in the state sector.

But Mr Cameron has ended the Tories' traditional support for academic selection.



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