As the Mayoral content enters the final phase Labour’s Ken Livingstone has issued the starkest indication of what he calls “the stakes for Londoners” in choosing between him and Conservative candidate Boris Johnson.
Mr Livingstone said the election “is about what it means to be Mayor. It is not about personality and it not about making jokes. It is about every day taking many decisions that affect the lives of seven and a half million people.”
Seeking to remind voters of the extremes of a world city Livingstone said of the decisions facing the Mayor: “Sometimes they are about highs – as on 6 July 2005 when we won the Olympics. Sometimes they are about the very lows – as on 7 July 2005.”
Referring to his rival’s recent comments about the cost of replacing the Routemaster and hiring conductors Livingstone said “Every time he has escaped from his minders Boris Johnson’s lack of competence to run London has been shown in this campaign.”
“In only three days last week Boris Johnson’s transport plans were shown by to be so incompetent that independent research found his bus policies would cost over £100 million a year more than he had admitted, that his minders had to issue a “clarification” on his call for local referendums on the smoking ban, and he made the ridiculous declaration he was not going to be “out-ethniced”.”
“He still does not have plans for the Tube and when he wrote an article for the Financial Times on his plans for business he didn’t even bother to mention Crossrail – the largest transport scheme in Europe which he didn’t even bother to vote on in Parliament. The entire aim of his campaign has been to make sure he is a position where he is shielded away from the responsibility for his own statements and decisions – that is he must be kept away from exactly what would be his most fundamental role as Mayor. The very nature of the Tory campaign itself testifies to his lack of competence to do the job of Mayor of London.”