Oona King and Ken Livingstone, both seeking to become Labour’s 2012 candidate for Mayor of London, have given their reaction to Boris Johnson’s announcement that he’ll be seeking re-election. Labour will announce their candidate later this month.
Oona King: “What record has Boris Johnson got to defend? Boris Johnson said as much in his interview this morning, admitting that he had failed to achieve any meaningful social change in London.
“Most Londoners feel their lives have not been touched by either of the Mayors we have had so far. The high number of teenagers killed on London’s streets so far this year is an example of where no progress has been made in dealing with the capital’s long-term problems.
“Labour’s own selection process is days away from concluding. What voters need to consider is who can best beat Boris – a candidate who was defeated by him in 2008 or somebody who believes in fresh ideas and fresh thinking”.
Ken Livingstone: “I welcome Boris Johnson’s confirmation that he will run again in 2012 because he now has a record that means he can be held to account.
“Boris Johnson cannot escape the fact that the he has pioneered huge cuts in London and he vigorously campaigned for his Tory colleagues to win the general election, knowing full well the economic policy they would deliver and the damage they would do to policing and transport. The government’s cuts are his cuts.
For those who want to express their opposition to the cuts and higher fares of Boris Johnson and David Cameron the first opportunity to send a signal that they want something better will be to remove Boris Johnson from office in 2012.
“Since he was elected he has cut the police, raised a single bus fare by a third and broken promises on affordable housing. He has betrayed outer London with higher fares, cuts to new transport links and breaking his pledge to protect tube ticket office opening hours.
“I believe there is an alternative to Boris Johnson’s and David Cameron’s cuts. As Mayor of London I would work to hold down fares, build homes, protect policing levels and defend investment in public transport.
“While Boris defends the bankers and polluters, I will stand up for ordinary Londoners and fight tirelessly to protect the capital from Boris Johnson and David Cameron’s cuts.”