A FORMER councillor who defected from Labour to the Lib Dems is standing to be his party's candidate for London Mayor.

Brian Haley switched to to the Liberal Democrats in a bitter saga in January 2010 after he was deselected to stand in last year's council elections by Labour – but lost his St Ann's Ward seat.

Now he has launched an audacious bid to become Mayor of the capital – batting for the Lib Dem nomination with former MP Lembit Opik, London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey, and 2008 candidate Brian Paddick.

He said: “I am really pleased to be standing – I have a to offer to Londoners and I excited about showing what I've got to offer.

“Brian has never been a councillor and so doesn't know about the minutiae of local government, and I think that's my strength as I was a councillor for 16 years.”

Although the nominations are yet to be officially revealed, the Haringey Independent understands that they will be announced later this month, when the candidates will begin pitching for votes.

Mr Haley, who was formerly the cabinet member for the environment at Haringey Council, denied that his relatively low profile compared to his rivals would hurt his chances.

He said: “I think I have a very good chance – I joined the Liberal Democrats because they are a very democratic party.

“I still hold a lot of the values and ideas that I had when I was with Labour and I have listened to the things that the people of London require.”

Mr Haley added that as the only black candidate for the mayoralty announced so far, he was standing up for ethnic minority communities.

The two most well-known contenders, Conservative Boris Johnson and Labour's Ken Livingstone, have already begun campaigning to win next year's election.