Posts Tagged ‘London mayor’

Labour is dangerously complacent about winning back London post-Boris

14/08/2014, 11:32:25 AM

by Samuel Dale

It was the worst kept secret in Westminster but Boris is finally on his way back.

After years burnishing his profile as Mayor of London, he is looking for a Commons seat next year.

Inevitably the focus has been on the implications for Cameron, Osborne and the battle for the Tory leadership.

But it also confirms – almost certainly – that Johnson will not run again as Mayor of London in 2016.

This is leading to a dangerous complacency from Labour.

The theory goes like this: London is a Labour voting city that has been twice charmed by the charismatic Boris but when he goes the mayoralty will slip back to its rightful owners, Labour.

This belief is fuelled by electoral successes.

Labour did surprisingly well in London in the 2010 general election, costing the Tories a majority.

In the intervening years, it has also won back control of councils and had record breaking results in areas such as Camden in May.

But the mayoralty is different. In their own ways Ken Livingstone and Boris have made the Mayor Of London a big job.


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Crowdsourcing the mayoral selection: Ken Livingstone

03/09/2010, 11:00:07 AM

Ken Livingstone: Time traveller

Assassination, time travel and giant humans are his weapons. Though there’s very little mention of Oona, Ken’s other opponents are clearly defined; he still bears the scars. There is a great pile of fancy biscuits in one of the rooms that makes up Ken’s campaign offices, proudly proffered by the spin doctor. Amid the phonebank volunteers plenty of Yesweken badges are strewn around. There is even a glass wall of red roses and Labour logos.

A tanned Ken arrives and launches into the questions with a swig of strong, black coffee. He’s friendly in his racontes, but sometimes he looks down and gives a wicked little laugh. Ken talks to Uncut about London politics, buying snakes, being a pharaoh and drops a couple of C-words along the way (one of them Crocs). Settle in; everything with Livingstone is a story.

Q. So, Ken. We ask the questions that people send in…

A. I know. I won’t blame you for the questions.

Q (from Micheal) What are your biggest regrets from your last spell as mayor of London?

A. Not putting out a contract on Veronica Wadley, the editor of the Evening Standard. Because she could have been taken out before that campaign started and I might have been re-elected. But it’s a real risk having your opponents bumped off. If it comes out it’s very embarrassing.


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Crowdsourcing the mayoral race: Ken Livingstone

28/08/2010, 04:52:18 PM

The next victim of the chair is Ken Livingstone.

Labour Uncut’s crowdsourcing of the mayoral selection comes to Livingstone next week.

What question would you put to Ken if you could? What would it take for him to win your vote?

Get your questions in for Ken by adding them below by midday on Wednesday.

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The Oona King interview: **contains Wire spoilers**

26/08/2010, 03:30:48 PM

Oona: cute child not included

There are many signs on the wall in Oona King’s campaign office. One states that you may have “tea, or coffee, and MAYBE a biscuit”. A poster charts the details of hot drink preferences for every member of the office (Oona, decaf coffee with milk). Somebody has hand-drawn a week countdown calendar to the ballot on a piece of A4 paper. It is simple but well organised.

Oona’s office is up a tiny spiral staircase. There are dog-sized seagulls staring in at the window of the boathouse-type affair on Heron Quay, but even their squalling, which occasionally drowns out the recording, can’t do much to mask Oona’s cackling laugh. Had we used the Uncut Laughometer for our crowdsourced interviews, Oona’s would have won on the decibel of her laugh alone.

As the campaign staff whisper around the Newsnight team setting up downstairs, Oona perches in heeled patent red boots on her office chair, next to a picture of her model-cute son and cackles away with her spin doctor. (She can’t show us any pictures of her little girl, she explains, because her phone and laptop were stolen at the weekend).


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Young people are going to be at the sharp end, says Ken Livingstone

23/08/2010, 03:00:19 PM

Young people are going to find themselves at the sharp end under this government. A key part of what we do in the next few years will be to make a concerted effort to engage with the concerns of our youngest citizens. And to make that more effective we will also need to give our younger members our confidence and a bigger say.

I have appointed a Young Labour member – Veronica King – as my campaign vice chair because we should not treat young members merely as campaign fodder, but listen to them and involve them more. If I am selected by Labour members – and then if elected as mayor – I want to see a flourishing youth structure for under-27s in our party that can help us win. (more…)

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The chair of London young Labour says Oona’s ageist attacks are not cool

07/08/2010, 03:44:01 PM

Like many London Labour members, I’ve been keeping a close eye on our mayoral selection, which has galvanised and polarised London activists more than the leadership campaigns.

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve been struck by negative comments made by Oona King and her campaign highlighting Ken Livingstone’s age.

This blogpost by Oona offers one of the clearest examples:

“And I don’t think Ken Livingstone is the way to go. He may qualify for Britain’s Got Talent but only on UK Gold.” (more…)

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Richard Serunjogi says Oona’s got the passion and the pragmatism

30/07/2010, 08:35:24 AM

I managed to resist the tingling temptation to scribble my thoughts second-handed on the basis of twitter, blogs and the smokescreen of the media.  I waited until I’d seen Oona and Ken slug it out for myself. The wait was worth its while.

Ken Livingstone has seemed like such a hard candidate to beat to the Labour nomination that I have wondered why Oona King would even try. After last week’s showing it’s pretty clear why. The energy which filled London Young Labour’s (LYL) mayoral hustings could sum up our revitalising project in a phrase – the future, passion and pragmatism. (more…)

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Tom Copley tells Oona’s people to back off

17/06/2010, 09:35:09 AM

Jim Fitzpatrick wrote last week to Labour’s general secretary Ray Collins to accuse him and the NEC of rigging the London mayoral selection process in favour of Ken Livingstone.

Fitzpatrick’s main complaint was that the 50/50 split between Labour members and trade union votes was somehow out of the ordinary and unfair.

Yet this is exactly the same system approved by the NEC years ago, and was the process used to select Nicky Gavron as Labour’s mayoral candidate in 2004. (She subsequently withdrew when Ken was readmitted to the Labour party). (more…)

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