The Evening Standard has splashed with the story Sir Alan Sugar has been approached by senior members of the Labour Party and asked to run for mayor as a stop Ken Livingstone candidate.
The paper says that the former Amstrad boss and star of the BBC reality TV hit ‘The Apprentice’ has spoken to Ken Clark, Labour’s London director. Clark is said to have telephoned Sir Alan for what Labour sources said was an “exploratory conversation” about him standing.
I don’t think Livingtone should stand again or even consider it. He should leave the way open for someone else to take on Boris Johnson and win the mayor’s office back for Labour.
But would Sir Alan run? Last year he refused to rule himself out of a bid to become London Mayor and said he was “the right kind of person” because he “cuts to the chase”.
He told BBC London this: “I think there’s a fine balance, you have to think about one’s own commercial activities compared to doing a job like that and its like all things in life, one should never underestimate the knowledge that one needs to have to take on a thing like that. I have always been one of those people to say stick to what you know.”
The Standard said that Sir Alan did not commit himself to running in the chat with Clark, but I hope he does. He is a candidate who could beat Johnson and has the combination of business experience and sheer brass.
The similarities with New York’s Michael Bloomberg, in many senses, only add points in his favour.
Sir Alan’s candidature has emerged as Livingstone vowed to stand against Johnson and referred to himself as “the Labour candidate”. Let’s hope not.