Conservatives name "Boris" to vie for London mayor

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LONDON, Sep 27 (Reuters) Britain's Conservatives today named flamboyant politician Boris Johnson to run for London mayor, setting the stage for an entertaining battle of maverick celebrities to run Western Europe's biggest city.

Johnson, a floppy-haired former editor of the Spectator magazine, is well known for regular appearances on television in programmes like the comedy gameshow ''Have I Got News For You'' and a love life that has often been tabloid fodder.

In a sign of his celebrity status, the party referred to him by his first name in its news release. ''Boris chosen for the Conservatives'' it headlined its announcement that Johnson had overwhelmingly won a primary vote to run in next May's election.

He will challenge the twice-elected incumbent, Labour's Ken Livingstone who is also a high profile personality known for dustups with the media A keen cyclist often spotted riding his bike around the capital, Johnson has said he would challenge Livingstone's policies on housing and transportation.

Reuters SS DS1443

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