London politicians have reacted to the news that Ken Livingstone is to rejoin the Labour Party. Here’s what they said:
Mark Field, Conservative Shadow Minister for London:
“This is a very cynical and desperate ploy. The only reason Labour want Ken back has nothing to do with his abilities to run London but is simply to avoid the official Labour Mayoral candidate coming a humiliating fourth place.”
Simon Hughes MP, Liberal Democrat Candidate and London Spokesman:
“Londoners will look forward to hearing Mr Livingstone’s new views on New Labour policies such as tuition fees, the war in Iraq and the public private partnership for London’s tube. As Ken Livingstone seeks to be the candidate wearing New Labour colours then presumably he will be expected to sign up to New Labour policy as well. This could be fascinating for all to see.”
Frank Maloney, UKIP Candidate:
“We can now all see what kind of Government runs this country, a Government with no principles or morals, their only concern is to win elections at all costs…the only people who will suffer are the ordinary Londoners who yet again are put in second place to the personal ambition of the untrustworthy politicians”
Steve Norris, Conservative Candidate:
“Independent or Labour, Livingstone is not going to make people feel safer on the streets. London deserves better. regardless of the party banner he stands under, he still won’t sort out the capital’s crime problems.
Labour Party Announcement In Full:
” The National Executive Committee today voted to allow Ken Livingstone back into the Labour Party, paving the way for London Labour Party members to choose whether he should be Labour’s candidate in the Mayoral elections next year.
Ian McCartney MP, Labour Party Chair and Minister without Portfolio, said there was “substantial support” for allowing Ken Livingstone to come back in given his positive record on issues such as crime and transport.
“We looked at his record in being London Mayor and he has worked well on the key issues with government.”
Speaking after the NEC meeting the Prime Minister said Mr Livingstone had done a good job for London on issues like crime, transport and business.
“I think it is right for us now as a party to say since we have got a record to judge him on and not simply a prediction, then let’s work together and make sure we can do the best for London.
“What is the point in him being outside the Labour Party when actually we are on the same agenda and on these issues working well together?
“We are in a situation today where I am perfectly content for the Labour Party to be associated with him because I think it is the right thing for London. Actually he has done a good job.”
Ken Livingstone said of his readmission to the Labour Party: “This is a decision taken in the interests of London. We have made a good start in improving London’s public services. We have cut congestion, expanded our bus network and recruited more police than at any time in London’s history.
“There is still more to do. The decision today will help myself and the government work even more closely to improve the lives of Londoners.”