London MP and Labour leadership hopeful Diane Abbott has endorsed Ken Livingstone’s bid to become Labour’s 2012 Mayoral candidate.
Abbott said she was backing the former-Mayor “because he has stood up for London under Tory and Labour governments alike and that experience and knowledge of London politics will be an asset in these difficult times.”
Abbott’s backing follows that of London Assembly Member Len Duvall last Friday – a development which brought the number of AMs backing Livingstone to six. The party currently has 8 Members on the Assembly.
Livingstone, who lost to Boris Johnson in 2008, also has the backing of London MPs David Lammy, Chuka Umunna, Virendra Sharma, Karen Buck, Jon Cruddas, Andy Slaughter, John Cryer and Jeremy Corbyn.
The Hackney North MP said it was possible to “see the benefits of Ken Livingstone’s contribution to London in my own constituency with the new East London Line Extension. All over London there are examples of how the approach Ken has taken delivers improvements for Londoners, from free bus travel for under-18s to neighbourhood policing.”
“Politics under a new government is changing for the worse and we need a mayor who knows London and will protect Londoners from the recession and the government’s attacks.”
Livingstone said Abbott’s support “is the latest indication of momentum based on breadth across the party and a willingness to campaign against the unfairness of the current government and Boris Johnson’s City Hall.”
Labour last week confirmed that Livingstone and former MP Oona King had been shortlisted for the nomination. The party will announce the winner in September.