Sol Campbell has officially ruled himself out in the race to succeed veteran Tory MP Malcom Rifkind as the MP for Kensington and Chelsea.
Rifkind resigned the seat following an undercover investigation by Chanel 4's Dispatches into so-called "cash for access". Former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw was also embroiled in the scandal.
Explaining his decision to stand back from the race, Campbell said:
Due to growing speculation about the upcoming seat vacated by Malcolm Rifkind in Kensington and Chelsea, I would like to say that I will not be putting my name forward.
It is a plum seat and whoever is picked by the Conservatives will be the right person for the job.
My ambitions lie elsewhere in the political arena. There are a lot of discussions to be had which I believe is the proper way to get to the right conclusion.
Campbell's revelation that he still has hopes of a role in the world of politics could stoke further speculation that the former Arsenal defender is preparing a bid for the London mayoralty.
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps recently confirmed Tory central office would not be attempting to "parachute" in a celebrity candidate to take the central London seat.
Campbell has been a fierce critic of Labour's proposed mansion tax branding the policy "madness". After the policy was announced he told the Telegraph:
Labour have had this brainwave and are unable to think outside the box. They say it’s a fair tax, but it isn’t because some people are not working anymore and won’t have the income to pay this tax each year.