London Assembly Members Nicky Gavron and Val Shawcross are among a number of Labour politicians and activists to endorse Ken Livingstone “as the best-placed candidate to secure a progressive future for London.”
The endorsement comes in a letter published on the Guardian website which has also been signed by former Assembly Member and Labour Peer Toby Harris, MPs Virendra Sharma & Andy Slaughter, Councillors Julian Bell, Sally Powell & Liam Smith and MEP Claude Moraes.
Despite the endorsements Livingstone is yet to formally declare his candidacy for the nomination although his entry into the race is considered a near-certainty.
Since losing office Livingstone has been an outspoken critic of successor Boris Johnson and founded the Progressive London movement which some have criticised as a thinly veiled re-election vehicle.
Today’s letter states: “The election of a London mayor in 2012 will test the strength of Conservative support nearly two years into David Cameron’s administration. London needs to return to a policy of investing in our public services, leading the capital and speaking for London as a whole, not the cuts and incoherence of the present administration under Boris Johnson. Labour will shortly choose a candidate for mayor. We need a candidate who can give leadership in a time of crisis, has demonstrated their commitment to innovation and cutting-edge policies, who understands London’s political landscape and who always puts London first.
To maintain our safer neighbourhood police teams, protect the fare payer, and ensure a powerful voice for London in future we will be supporting Ken Livingstone as the best-placed candidate to secure a progressive future for London.”
The endorsement comes just days after former Labour MP Oona King formally launched her candidacy.