Posts Tagged ‘mayor’

The real reasons Ken wants Lutfur back in the party

13/11/2010, 12:00:13 PM

by Jessica Asato

It is clear that, despite trying to arm-twist some quite senior members of the Labour party into allowing Lutfur Rahman back into the fold, Ken Livingstone has failed the new mayor of Tower Hamlets for the time being. Instead of pushing the issue at the next meeting of the NEC, Ken has recently rowed back – having had the riot act read to him by Victoria Street – and said there’s no timescale. Though the ambition is still there. Earlier this week Ken said “there is a lot to be said for letting this all calm down and seeing how Lutfur performs”. So why has Livingstone gone out of his way to find such common cause with Rahman?

When I last wrote about the Mayoral election, some commenters suggested that Ken was merely being politically pragmatic by supporting Lutfur. This was not an endorsement of Lutfur’s ideological position, but instead a calculated partnership with an eye on the future. They pointed out that his vote doubled in Tower Hamlets during the 2008 London Mayoral election, arguing that the East London mosque and the Islamic forum of Europe (IFE) were key to his success. By siding with the Labour candidate three weeks ago, Livingstone might have alienated these two important lobby interests in the borough, which could create a mass desertion of Muslim voters from Labour’s cause across London ahead of 2012. (more…)

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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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Crowdsourcing the mayoral race: Oona King

23/08/2010, 11:59:14 AM

The chair is back.

After the success of the leadership crowdsourcing interviews, Labour Uncut is embarking upon a new challenge: crowdsourcing the mayoral selection.

First up is Oona King.

What question would you put to Oona if you could? What would it take for her to win your vote?

We’ll be taking your questions to the mayoral candidate this week.

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

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Young dynamism and old pragmatism, Shelly Asquith makes the case for Ken

20/07/2010, 11:29:48 AM

"This isn’t just Red Ken anymore; it’s Green Ken, Pink Ken; Ken the chameleon."

When I heard Ken would be standing for Labour as London Mayor in 2012, I was thrilled. It didn’t even occur to me that there may be  an alternative contender. But now the pantomime of Oh Yes We Kens and Oona You Cants has started, I feel we need a reminder of why Ken’s still the man for the job.

I’m too young to remember Red Ken. Ken, the maverick leader of the GLC, reviled by Thatcher and hailed by the unions. But I do remember King Ken:  trouper of the Thames; boss of the bendy bus; guardian of a truly Greater London.

In all of his 8 years as mayor, Ken transformed the city. He encouraged sustainable lifestyles with the congestion charge, a hugely extended bus service, low emissions zone and London Energy Partnership. Livingstone testified his commitment to public transport at a lower cost in his fight against PPP, his plans for the Cross-rail scheme and a reduced price service for students and OAPs.

Contrast this with London since Boris took over: fares have sky-rocketed across public transport; train line expansion is under threat; the western extension of the congestion charge has been scrapped.  While inner-city London dwellers are penalised, wealthier commuters get a cheaper deal.

Forming dual ventures with Eco Cities in China, Ken lead the way towards London becoming Europe’s green capital. If re-elected, Ken will protect London’s green belt while extending affordable housing projects, something the city has seen slashed since 2008. He also pledges to improve insulation in every building in London over ten years.

Ken champions diversity. He pioneered London’s anti-racism and Muslim, Jewish and International festivals, and oversaw the reduction of racial attacks in London by a third. Ken also did a remarkable job of uniting the city after the tragic 7/7 bombings with his We Are Londoners campaign.


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