Running for Mayor of London was a "completely natural" move for the UKIP candidate in this May’s election.

Although he only joined the party three and a half years ago, Peter Whittle is already top of UKIP’s list for a seat in the Greater London Authority and is hoping to give Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith a run for their money in the race for City Hall’s top job.

February 23: Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith talks Brexit, diversity and London's housing crisis during Tooting visit

February 22: UKIP Mayoral candidate welcomes Zac Goldsmith's Vote Leave position as the London election takes a European twist

January 15: Pidgeon on planes, trains and "Boris over a barrel": Lib Dem candidate Caroline Pidgeon discusses her Mayoral campaign​

Mr Whittle describes himself as someone who has always been political, and a decade ago, he founded a think tank focused on the arts and culture, which he still runs.

He said: "My whole career background is in arts and I absolutely think that my experience with arts and the creative side of London is heads and shoulders above the other candidates.

"They are one of the glories of London.

"I am hugely grateful that growing up, museums and galleries were free. That is the wonderful about London."

Mr Whittle vowed to support and promote the arts and culture of the capital if elected mayor.

Born in Peckham, Mr Whittle moved to Shooters Hill as a child and now lives in Woolwich.

Although UKIP has a reputation for "not working" in London, Mr Whittle said the party sits third and he picked up 16 per cent when he stood in the General Election in 2015.

November 6: "I'll probably die in Tooting": Our interview with Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan on Crossrail, police cuts and Nandos

October 22: Tory mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith talks Jeremy Corbyn, tax credit cuts and Heathrow expansion​

He said: "I think we are living in extraordinary political times.

"If you had said a year ago that Jeremy Corbyn would become leader of Labour, people would think you are crazy but here we are.

"I think after this election we will have a permanent voice on the GLA."

Mr Whittle is the only openly gay candidate running in the mayoral campaign, and said that despite his party’s mixed reputation on homosexuality, he has never personally faced problems.

On the capital, he thinks transport and housing are two big issues.

Mr Whittle believes that Londoners should have priority for homes in the capital, stating that newcomers should live in a borough for five years before they can get on the social housing list or buy a house on GLA land.

He said: "We have a chronic housing shortage in London.

"The difference for me if that so far in hustings and announcements I have been trying to address both sides of that equation.

"No one is addressing that demand sideways.

“There can be no question in my mind that relatively uncontrolled migration for 15 to 20 years is the main driver of the housing crisis in London.

"The mayor has the campaign power, he cannot control immigration and no one can because we are members of the European Union but he is in a unique position to say we need a more controlled system.”

Mr Whittle said that he does not think Mr Goldsmith’s position on the EU referendum will affect his share of the vote in London, as UKIP supporters are "doggedly" with the party.

The 55-year-old is keen to see the night tube introduced but believes that stopping the workers’ right to strike as proposed a number of times in the past few years, is the wrong way to handle disputes.

He said: "I’m in favour of a 24 hour tube service but not just on Fridays and Saturday, a social 24 hours, but for the huge number who clean, or work in construction, who need early tubes.

"As for Crossrail 2, we have a policy that big developments should be subject to a local referendum, and there should be one for businesses and residents to say whether or not they want it."

One of Mr Whittle’s passions for the capital, is to see a change of emphasis from economics to quality of life.

He said: "I think the emphasis has to be on quality of life, not just about economics and money.

"We have got to rebalance that.

"It has been treated like a place of exchange and I don’t like that."

Though the party colour may be purple, Mr Whittle confirmed that his favourite skittle was in fact, yellow.