Left Watch

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Ken Livingstone officially launches bid for London Mayoral candidacy on anti-Government agenda

LIVINGSTONE KEN The BBC reports that former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has today officially launched his bid to be Labour candidate at the 2012 election.

Whilst Boris Johnson is yet to formally announce his intention to stand again, Livingstone clearly wants a run against the man who defeated him in 2008, but will have to beat off Oona King and whichever other Labour hopefuls come forward in the coming weeks (their nominations close on June 18th).

Livingstone's pitch will naturally be to try to attack the incumbent mayor, but all the indications are that he very much intends running on an anti-Government (rather than anti-Boris) ticket:

"If I am elected my focus will be to do everything I can to protect Londoners from the recession and the effects of the government's policies - a government removing billions from the economy and planning cuts on a scale that Britain has not seen for decades, means the mayor's priority must be to protect Londoners." 

With the election due at a time when the Government will be making cuts and people may be feeling the pain, Boris Johnson, for his part, will doubtless be seeking also to demonstrate his independence from the Government and I don't imagine he will be afraid to challenge it when he believes that doing so is in the interests of London (and his re-election).

Jonathan Isaby