Tom Conti: ‘If I was the Mayor of London I’d abolish myself’

14:15 23 April 2012

Tom Conti has some regrets about not standing for London Mayor

Tom Conti has some regrets about not standing for London Mayor

PA Archive/Press Association Images

As the battle for London Mayor enters its final throes, Hampstead actor Tom Conti has revealed he is harbouring some regrets about not standing for office.

The Shirley Valentine actor toyed with the idea of swapping the film set for City Hall in 2008.

Despite offering his services to the Conservatives, he was pipped to the post by that other great performer – Boris Johnson, who was selected as the party’s candidate.

The Scottish-born actor said: “I was tempted to run for London Mayor this time round. I sort of regretted not running in 2008.

“I decided not to because my family asked me please don’t do this, it will ruin all of our lives. They were probably right.

“I think the meetings that one would have to have with a lot of trying and angry people, seems a bit dreary.”

Despite contemplating a foray into politics, Mr Conti revealed that if he ever was elected London Mayor his first move would be to abolish the position.

“One of the things I would have done if I had been elected was start to dismantle the office because I am not sure we need a Mayor of London,” he said.

“I don’t see that there has been any great benefit. Public transport has improved but that may have happened anyway. It is expensive and quite frankly I’m not sure it is worth it.”

Wise words perhaps, but there are few politicians who have determined their own demise.

One can only guess what City Hall veteran Ken Livingstone thinks of all this.

The Labour hopeful was criticised by Conti, who said his election would be a “tragedy”.

He had warmer words for independent candidate Siobhan Benita, although he fell short of an outright endorsement.

“I am supporting her right to stand,” he said.

“I don’t know enough about her to know if I would vote for her, but I think it is a good thing she is running because she is independent and I think people are sick of party politics.”

We will discover whether London agrees on May 3.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, May 18, 2015
Your future Mayor? [Image from YouTube]

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Ivan Massow, has transformed himself into a cartoon character in order to get the top job.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Protestors are surrounded by police (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

All but one of 15 people arrested during a spontaneous anti-austerity protest against the new Tory government have been bailed, police said today.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Voters in Hampstead voted for Ronnie Carroll, who is dead (PA)

A total of 113 people voted for a parliamentary candidate who died four weeks before the election.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Ed Balls has lost his seat (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Balls became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous General Election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result. Twitter reacted to his demise...

Friday, May 8, 2015
Simon Hughes has lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat after more than three decades (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Much-loved senior Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes has lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat after 32 years.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has won a seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Boris Johnson has succeeded in his bid for a Commons comeback after winning the seat for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London.

Breaking News

Friday, May 22, 2015

There are severe delays on the Central Line after a woman was hit by a Tube train.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more