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Will wealthy businessman Ivan Massow succeed Boris Johnson as the next Mayor of London?

A former Labour party member has declared his ambition to be the next Conservative mayor of London.

Wealthy businessman Ivan Massow wants to succeed Boris Johnson at City Hall in 2016.

Ivan Massow Credit: PA

Massow, made his fortune giving financial advice to members of London's gay community.

He set up companies which provided financial services, like mortgages, to people who found it hard to get insurance. Massow describes himself as 'rags to riches boy.'

Ivan Massow and Paloma Faith Credit: PA

He was touted as a possible Tory candidate in 1999 when Lord Archer was fired in a scandal which saw the peer jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Massow later became policy advisor and running mate for the Tories' replacement candidate Steve Norris who was defeated in the 2000 election by Ken Livingstone.

Massow's colourful career saw him defect to Labour in protest at Section 28, the Tory policy which banned the promotion of homosexuality. He claims he 're-defected' after just one day.

Ivan Massow seen with former Labour minister Mo Mowlam on the day he defected from the Conservatives Credit: PA

He was also forced to resign as Chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts after claiming modern art was 'pretentious, self-indulgent, craftless tat.'

Massow is the first high-profile Conservative to launch a campaign to become the party's candidate in 2016.

We want to highlight how hard it is to live in London. Most people travel for an hour to get to work. It is not the bed of roses it is made out to be.

– Ivan Massow