Ken Livingstone was born in Streatham on 14th June 1945.
Between 1971 and 1978 he served as a Labour member of Lambeth Council, holding the position of vice-chair of the housing committee from 1971-73. In 1978 he was elected to Camden Council where he remained until 1982. From 1974 until 1986 he was a member of the Regional Executive of the Greater London Labour Party.
In 1973 he become a member of the GLC. Following the GLC elections of 1981 Livingstone ousted the incumbent Labour Leader, Andrew Mackintosh, to take control of London Government.
In 1986 Margaret Thatcher’s plan to disband the GLC helped turned Livingstone into a martyr for many Londoners.
Benefiting from his mythical status, Livingstone won the Brent East parliamentary seat in 1987 and entered the Commons as a Labour MP. However Labour leader Neil Kinnock ( battling to modernise the party) left Livingstone to wallow on the back benches.
He worked the London Labour Party fostering support for the future and feeding the myth that surrounds his ejection from power. This campaign paid off when he beat Peter Mandleson in the 1997 NEC elections.
In May 2000 Ken Livingstone was returned as the first Mayor of London.