Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adonis: I Won't Run for Mayor Dame Tessa's the Best Candidate

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adonis: I Won't Run for Mayor Dame Tessa's the Best Candidate

Article excerpt

Byline: THE political interview Joe Murphy talks to Lord Adonis shadow infrastructure minister

LABOUR peer Andrew Adonis today ruled himself out of the London mayoral race -- and swung his weight behind bookies' favourite Dame Tessa Jowell.

In a dramatic interview with the Evening Standard, the former Transport Secretary said: "What we need in London is the Olympic spirit applied to solving the housing crisis in our capital.

"Tessa Jowell's track record of planning and leading the 2012 Olympics shows that she has got that spirit and all of the qualities to be an outstanding mayor."

Lord Adonis confirmed he considered running but decided that Dame Tessa was the best candidate because of her ability to unite people and organisations. "London needs to raise its game if it is going to tackle the housing crisis and prevent congestion becoming unbearable," he said.

"Tessa can do that because of her proven track record in establishing partnerships for change around an imperative for the city."

He revealed they are going to work together on a manifesto for London, with plans for hundreds of thousands of new homes linked to new transport at its core.

The current shadow infrastructure minister is one of Labour's boldest policy-makers and was the architect of academy schools under Tony Blair.

Giving a glimpse of the policies he will be urging for a Jowell manifesto, he said a Labour government and mayor should act swiftly to expand the South-East's aviation capacity, providing the Davies Commission gives a clear-cut recommendation.

"I very much hope that when Howard Davies reports this June he makes a compelling case for either Heathrow or Gatwick expansion," he said.

"I don't believe this decision can be ducked any longer without causing really serious damage to London's economy and to jobs nationwide."

Lord Adonis would like to see smoking banned in parks. The keen cyclist also "strongly" backed Boris Johnson's cycle superhighways, saying: "We need more segregated cycle routes. …

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