Ken Livingstones’s campaign for re-election is set to receive a significant boost today when Green Party candidate Sian Berry urges her backers to give their second preference votes to him.
At his campaign launch yesterday Mr Livingstone called for “progressive” voters to unite to defeat Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, today’s announcement appears to be the first steps towards rebuilding the coalition which brought Livingstone to power at the 2000 elections.
In a strongly worded attack on Mr Johnson Ms Berry claimed the Conservative candidate “has real contempt for Londoners. He hates that we celebrate each other’s heritage; he hates that we try to pass on a healthy environment to our children; he hates that we look after our most vulnerable neighbours; and most of all he hates that we all expect to share in our city’s financial success. And if he’s elected he will do his best to destroy all of that.”
“I cannot bear the idea of living under Boris Johnson. What I am urging Green supporters to do is this: vote Green on the Assembly, vote for me as Mayor, then use their second Mayoral vote as an insurance policy to stop Boris Johnson by giving it to Ken Livingstone.
Each voter van cast two votes – a first and a second preference. Once all first preference votes have been counted the two candidates with the highest totals go into a final ballot where the second preference are counted and added to the first preference totals of the top two candidates.
The most likely top two on first preferences will be Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.
Ahead of a joint press conference with Ms Berry, Mr Livingstone said:
“London now has a strong green agenda, with groundbreaking and innovative decisions such as introducing and then expanding the congestion charge, cutting air pollution by making London the largest Low Emission Zone in the world, delivering the most comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions of any major city, setting tough planning regulations to require the use of renewable energy in new developments, and massively increasing investment to achieve an increase of over eighty per cent in cycling.”
Green Party Assembly Members have a long record of backing the Mayor, especially in the passing of the Mayor’s annual budget. In recent years the party’s AMs have secured commitments to promote walking and cycling in return for their votes.
Last night the pair issued the following joint statement:
“Tackling climate change and creating a fairer London must be at the top of any serious Mayor’’s agenda. Boris Johnson, who supported George W. Bush in opposing the Kyoto Treaty and would scrap the CO2 charge on gas guzzlers, cannot be trusted with London’s environment. Nor can a man who opposed the minimum wage be expected to promote fairness or tackle poverty.”
“London – with a committed Mayor and Green Party representation on its Assembly – has taken a global lead on environmental and social justice over the last eight years. Let’s keep it that way.”
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