A former leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council has entered the race to succeed Boris Johnson as London Mayor.

Stephen Greenhalgh was a Conservative borough councillor from 1996 until 2012, when he stepped down to take a role as Boris' deputy mayor in charge of policing.

Now he hopes to secure the Tory nomination for London Mayor and win the Capital's top job at the next elections in 2016 - and has pledged to cut transport fares every year, just as he did council tax during his two terms in charge at Hammersmith town hall.

Mr Greenhalgh, who lives in Fulham with his wife and three children, told the Evening Standard: "It's been an immense privilege working for Boris in the last two and a half years. I've enjoyed it more than I ever thought possible. But I've decided today to announce the fact that I want to succeed Boris in 2016. I'm putting my name forward." He added he would be his "own man".

Stephen Greenhalgh has stepped down as leader of H&F Council to accept a job with Boris Johnson.
Stephen Greenhalgh has stepped down as leader of H&F Council to accept a job with Boris Johnson.
 

The 47-year-old's candidacy was enthusiastically welcomed by former colleagues including Ravenscourt Park councillor Harry Phibbs, who wrote on the Conservative Home website: "Public safety is the foundation for any city’s prosperity and whilst Stephen has been in his current post, victim-based crimes in London have fallen by 19 per cent and the Met Police has managed to save £240 million so far whilst investing more in frontline policing."

Chelsea and Fulham MP, Greg Hands, added: "I have worked closely with Stephen Greenhalgh in the Conservatives for 16 years. His record as Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council was one of the best in the UK."

So far six candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to become the next Mayor of London, including Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Dame Tessa Jowell.