Boris Johnson applies to be candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has confirmed that he hopes to stand as the Conservative candidate in the safe Tory seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip at next year's general election.

The London mayor, who announced earlier this month that he hoped to return to parliament seven years after he stood down as MP for Henley to concentrate on his duties at City Hall, has submitted his name for the Tory shortlist in the constituency.

Sir John Randall, a former Tory deputy chief whip, won the seat with a majority of 11,216 at the 2010 general election.

The announcement by Johnson follows his declaration earlier this month that he would "try to find somewhere" to stand in next year's general election. In a speech at the London headquarters of Bloomberg he joked that it was "highly likely I will be unsuccessful in that venture".

Johnson's remarks were a fruitless attempt at false modesty – he knows that his appeal is likely to knock out almost any other aspiring Tory candidate at a selection process. His greater worry is whether Ukip could pose a threat to him by standing against him.

This helps explain why Johnson also used his Bloomberg speech earlier this month to tell David Cameron that he should be prepared to tell fellow EU leaders that Britain has no fears of life outside the EU if it fails to achieve reforms ahead of the planned in/out referendum in 2017.

Johnson made his announcement that he hopes to stand in Uxbridge hours before Nigel Farage appears at hustings to become the Ukip parliamentary candidate in South Thanet.

Johnson's decision to choose a seat in the London suburbs is designed to mitigate the effects of his decision to break his pledge to remain outside parliament while he is London mayor. His second term is due to end in 2016.

His friends point out that his pledge to remain outside parliament during his second term as London mayor included an important caveat: this only counted as long as London was in recession.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 26th August 2014 14.11 Europe/London

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