Ivan Massow to run for Mayor of London

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Gay rights campaigner and entrepreneur Ivan Massow has announced that he will run for Mayor of London.

Mr Massow, 47, is an openly gay businessman who first rose to prominence in the 1990s, when he began offering financial services and insurance specially catered to gay people.

A long-time member of the Conservative party, he briefly defected to Labour to “help the party focus on repealing Section 28”, but later returned to the Tories.

He today announced his bid to run for Mayor of London in 2016, to succeed Boris Johnson, who is making a return to Parliament.

Mr Massow said: “I am a Londoner, an entrepreneur and a campaigner and I want to be London’s next Mayor.

“I moved to London more than 25 years ago to start my own business – helping those discriminated against by financial services to access insurance and financial products – and this city has been my home and my passion ever since.

“As a campaigner against discrimination I know that there is nowhere on earth I would rather live than London.

“A vibrant, dynamic and open-minded city, London is a living, breathing example to the world of what a successful multicultural society should look and feel like. I felt welcome when I came here.

“Not because I was like everyone else but because this is a place where difference is accepted and celebrated.

“That’s part of our strength – we know that diversity is the fuel that drives the dynamism of our city, and we thrive because of it.”

Mr Massow attracted controversy last year when he complained that today’s gay scene seems “obsessed” with drugs and sex, resulting in an empty world of hedonism.

He said: “We, the gay community, are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once.

“I don’t want our community to deal with this just because I find our behaviour embarrassing. God only knows I’ve embarrassed myself enough not to throw stones. I think fun in moderation is great.”