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Frank Dobson scraped home as Labour’s official candidate for mayor in February- taking just 51% of the vote in the party’s electoral college.
But although the selection process left him the victor he has consistently attempted to distance himself from it, calling it “a mess”.
Since he started his political career as the leader of Camden council, the job of London mayor might have appeared a post Frank Dobson would have naturally aspired to once it had been created by the Labour government.
But for a long time he resisted pressure to put himself forward. Mr Dobson was appointed as health secretary after Tony Blair won power in the 1997 election and remained there until he eventually decided to run for mayor.
He is the MP for Holborn and St Pancras and still lives in a council flat in the constituency.
But he has suffered from the perception that he is Tony Blair's "Stop Ken" candidate who only entered the race because he would have been sacked from the cabinet if he did not.
True or not, he has sought to establish his independence from Downing Street and the Labour Party hierarchy.
On policy, however, he remains loyal to his leader, supporting plans to allow Railtrack to operate overland tube lines.
An affable Yorkshireman prone to cracking rude jokes away from the cameras, he is certain that he will win the race for mayor although an independent Livingstone campaign could cause him real problems.
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