Ken beats King to run for London mayor

Photo: Xerxesirl

Ken Livingstone has been chosen by the Labour Party to run as its candidate for London Mayor.

He fought off competition from former Bethnal Green & Bow MP Oona King to win 68.6% of the votes cast by Labour’s 33,000 London members as well as union affiliates, with King on 31.4%.

Livingstone  today promised to hold down transport fares in London. “Fares will always be lower than if Boris Johnson is re-elected in 2012,” he said.

Boris Johnson ended Livingstone’s eight-year reign as London mayor in 2008, after the former Labour MP for Brent East had served two terms. The Conservative mayor will stand for re-election against Livingstone again this time round.

Livingstone told supporters today: “This isn’t a victory between new and old Labour, it’s a London Labour victory.  The London election is [London’s] chance to send a message to Boris and Cameron – that we don’t want these cuts.  Bus passes now cost 30% more than when Johnson came to power and this election must be an argument for something better.  Ordinary Londoners did not create this mess; we need to unite Londoners like we have never before.”

Oona King lost her east London seat in 2005 to Respect candidate George Galloway over her support for the Iraq war. She pledged today to support Livingstone’s mayoral campaign, saying: “All of us must do everything in our power to make sure Ken is next Mayor of London. No one in London wants to see Ken beat Boris more than me.  I will be there with you.”


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