The Assembly might have been busy quizzing incumbent Mayor Boris Johnson but the media pack spent a fair chunk of the morning questioning each other about Ken Livingstone and his motives for attending Assembly meetings and Mayor’s Questions.
Most hacks seem to suspect that he’s positioning himself up as the natural candidate in 2012 perhaps with a first term Cameron Government suffering midterm problems and that this is the reason Boris is pushing for term limits to be introduced asap.
As Dave Hill comments “nothing Ken has done or written since his defeat suggests he is unduly downcast” at his recent defeat.
Some journalists have started to receive press releases and statements from a Livingstone related email address which has only fueled speculation that Ken is seeking to retake his seat at City Hall.
There was a bit of a rush by the press pack to speak to him after this morning’s MQT and Ken was more than happy to give quotes and comment on the performance we’d all witnessed.
I asked Ken about the mysterious press operation around him which he said was simply “long term acquaintances” helping him out and denied being what I termed the “leader of London’s unofficial opposition”.
His actions and statements are, he claims, simply him being an interested and concerned citizen and no-one should read anything more into them.
But Ken clearly knows this won’t calm down the speculation and wishful thinking on the part of his backers, not least because the last time “long term acquaintances” spent months running a shadow campaign he clocked up what he recently described as his proudest political achievement.