‘Not for all the éclairs in Paris’: Paxman turns down London mayor meeting with Cameron

Jeremy Paxman confirmed today he will not be standing as the Conservative candidate as mayor of London ‘for all the éclairs in Paris’.

The former Newsnight anchor revealed he had been asked to replace Boris Johnson – who will stand down in 2016 – but had turned down the offer.

The news follows a story in yesterday’s The Times that reported he had been approached by a senior figure in the Conservative Party.

In a statement released through his publishers, Mr Paxman described the story as ‘fantasy’.

He said: “It began life as a Boris Johnson joke. I was indeed approached about the gig and invited to see David Cameron to discuss the idea.

“I decided a week ago that I wouldn’t take it on for all the éclairs in Paris.”

Mr Paxman has previously described himself as a ‘one-nation Tory’, and it was believed that Tory MPs were delighted at the prospect of him as a successor to Mr Johnson.

Earlier this week, businessman Ivan Massow became the first person to formally declare his intention to stand as Conservative candidate for London mayor.

Former Labour Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell confirmed earlier this month that she was planning to run as her party’s candidate, alongside Tottenham MP David Lammy and Christian Wolmar.

It is also widely thought that Shadow Justice Secretary and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan will also be throwing his hat into the ring.

The London mayoral elections are scheduled to take place in May 2016.

Picture courtesy of English PEN, with thanks

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