A confident looking Ken Livingstone got a warm greeting when he took to the streets of Brixton this afternoon.
Visiting Brixton Market Mr Livingstone – who is seeking a third term as
Mayor of London – chatted with shoppers and retailers before speaking to
After weeks of a seemingly endless run of bad headlines the Mayor appeared to be enjoying an opportunity to meet voters.
The overwhelmingly supportive comments from the public were markedly at
odds with recent media predictions of the end of his administration.
Aides accompanying Mr Livingstone seemed encouraged by the fact that not a single
member of the public referred to recent press allegations, a point the
Mayor highlighted after the walkabout when he sought to distinguish
between the priorities of the media and the issues concerning voters.
The walkabout co-incided with a decision by the Electoral Commission
that Livingstone had not broken any rules by having donations for his
Mayoral campaign collected directly by the Labour party. This
arrangement avoids the need for Livingstone to name individual donors.
Mr Livingstone was reported to the Electoral Commission by Tory MP Greg Hands.
A spokesman for the Commission said that following meetings with the
Labour Party “we are satisfied that
there is currently no evidence of a breach.”
“We advised the party to change its fundraising terminology to reflect
money raised would be used by the party to fund its London election
campaign and avoid any misunderstanding. They have agreed to do this.”
Speaking at a London First hustings
earlier this week Mr Livingstone clashed with Tory rival Boris Johnson
over the issue.
Livingstone told Mr Johnson it was better that he was
not directly involved in fundraising as it avoided the potential for
conflicts of interest when it came to making planning decisions.