Ex R1 DJ steps up Mayor bid

Former Radio One breakfast show presenter Mike Read is reported to be stepping up his bid to become the Conservative Party candidate for the London Mayoral election next year. Read's apparently seeking financial support after being told he would be taken seriously by the party in his effort to stand as their representative.

Read, who says he has always voted Tory, won't need to beat fellow broadcaster Nick Ferrari for the chance to stand in the polls – the LBC breakfast host pulled out of the running last year.

Mr Read told [link=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6233837.stm]BBC News Online[/link] he had been urged to consider standing by Conservative activists after he made a speech at the party's annual conference.

He said he had also been very encouraged by a meeting with party chairman Francis Maude: "I actually played my own devil's advocate. I told him I don't want to be perceived as a token, lightweight celebrity. I left the door open for him to say 'don't do it, I think you would be too lightweight'."

But Mr Maude assured the broadcaster he would be taken seriously and that the party was looking for someone well-known to take on Ken Livingstone.

It's thought talkSPORT's James Whale may also be an option for the electorate. It was reported late last year that he was being considered as a candidate for UKIP.

Mike Read worked for Radio 1 for 12 years and hit the headlines when he banned Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" from his breakfast show because of its sexual content. He also hosted the BBC TV show Saturday Superstore, and more recently appeared on reality show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. He currently presents on the digital station Big L, also available on AM in London.

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