DIDCOT and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey is among the favourites to become the next London mayor.

Mr Vaizey, who has been a the Wantage MP since 2005, was sacked as a culture minister by Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016.

Ladbrokes have ardent Remainer Mr Vaizey as joint second favourite, behind current London mayor Sadiq Khan and level pegging with Labour MP David Lammy.

However, Mr Vaizey would not be drawn on whether he will stand to be selected as the Tory candidate in the coming months.

He said: “It’s an honour to represent Didcot and Wantage. It would take quite a lot to give that up.”

In March, the Evening Standard reported that Mr Vaizey had become the first Tory to announce he might seek to defeat Mr Khan, who replaced Boris Johnson in 2016.

It reported how Mr Vaizey had claimed he would ‘thump’ Mr Khan in any election – but that he would ‘continue [Mr Khan’s] work’ if he were to be elected.

The newspaper reported Mr Vaizey had said: “Should I say I like Sadiq Khan? Am I allowed to say that? I’m still thinking about running against him.”

He added: “I will obviously thump Sadiq in an election if I choose to stand. When I win, I will continue Sadiq’s work.”

The Huffington Post reported that Mr Vaizey had also said: “I’m far too lazy to campaign. I’m so lazy. There’s a reason my surname is Vaizey.”

He added, after he had been asked whether he would run: “No I probably won’t. I don’t know. A show of hands, should I run?”

Mr Khan was elected in May 2016 with Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith in second place.

The London mayoralty has attracted maverick figures since it was established in 2000.

The first London mayor, Ken Livingstone, resigned from the Labour Party and won as an independent before being readmitted to the party.

He then lost to Mr Johnson, himself a former Henley MP, after serving two terms until 2008. Mr Johnson also served two four-year terms.

It is expected that the Conservatives will appoint their mayoral candidate soon over concerns Mr Goldsmith had too little time to assert himself on the diverse London electorate.

His campaign was also plagued by allegations of racism against Mr Khan.

At the time, the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, said he was angry Mr Goldsmith’s campaign had sought to paint Mr Khan as a ‘closet extremist’.

London’s mayor is responsible for housing, waste management and the city’s environment. They are also responsible for transport policy, delivered by Transport for London, the city’s fire service and emergency planning, delivered by London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.