Conservative Party-supporting businessman Ivan Massow has launched his bid to become his party’s candidate for mayor of London in a YouTube video in which he calls himself “gay, ex-alcoholic and dyslexic”.
Massow said the minute-long pop art-style animation is an “honest warts-and-all” portrayal of himself.
He says: “I’m gay, I’m an ex-alcoholic, I’m dyslexic, I’m adopted, I’m an activist, I’m a businessman, I’m a disruptor, I’m a doer. I’m not your typical ‘politician’ politician”.
The Guardian reports that the video is part of a social media campaign in which Massow urges Londoners to use the hashtag #tellivan to send him ideas of what they want him to do as mayor.
Massow has lived in London for the past 25 years and formerly shared a flat with Michael Gove and Nick Boles, now both Tory ministers.
On his website, Massow says he resigned from the Conservative Party at the start of the last decade to “jolt the party out its 1950s mindset”. He adds: “while I still stand by my decision, I’m older and wiser now, with greyer hair and a calmer approach. I was invited back by Michael Howard, who wanted to show how the party had changed, and under David Cameron’s leadership I have been proud to help the party I love embrace the modern world.”
Other contenders for the Tory candidacy are Stephen Greenhalgh, current deputy mayor, and Andrew Boff, a member of the London Assembly. Ex-footballer Sol Campbell and former MP Nick de Bois may also consider a bid.