Academic-turned-politician Wilmot James on Friday confirmed that he will run against Mmusi Maimane for the leadership of the Democratic Alliance. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Cape Town - Academic-turned-politician Wilmot James on Friday confirmed that he will run against Mmusi Maimane for the leadership of the Democratic Alliance.

“I can confirm that I have decided to stand for the position of Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance,” James said.

He said he had received “overwhelming support from colleagues and friends” and had been encouraged to make himself available to succeed Helen Zille when she steps down next month after eight years at the helm.

“I will therefore spend the next two weeks sharing my vision for the future of our party and our country with delegates who will be attending the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay on 09/10 May 2015,” James said.

Prominent DA MP David Maynier said he would be steering James's campaign.

"I believe Wilmot James is ready to lead and that he is the best candidate to take the party forward,” Maynier told ANA.

"He has my full support and I will be running his campaign."

ANA