Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Seb Coe Set to Enter Race to Be Next London Mayor

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Seb Coe Set to Enter Race to Be Next London Mayor

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK HENNESSY

By Patrick Hennessy Deputy Political Editor

FORMER Olympic champion Sebastian Coe is seriously considering joining the race to be London's next Mayor as the Tory candidate.

Lord Coe, who until the last election was a close aide and judo partner of ex-Tory leader William Hague, is thought to be ready to make an announcement in about six weeks.

Up to now, it was assumed that the Tory nomination would automatically go to former transport minister Steve Norris, who came second to Ken Livingstone in the 2000 mayoral contest.

If Lord Coe, who lost his parliamentary seat to Labour in 1997, enters the race the Conservatives would face a runoff between two relatively recognisable figures. The double gold-medal winner is being urged to put his name forward by his friends, including Daley Thompson, another dual Olympic champion. Some Tories think Lord Coe has the profile to mount a serious challenge to Mr Livingstone, but others warn that his clean-cut image might struggle against the Mayor's streetwise persona. …

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