The UK economy has returned to recession, shrinking by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012 according to the Office for National Statistics.
The decline follows a shrinkage of 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
According to the ONS production industries decreased by 0.4%, construction decreased by 3% while the service sector increased by 0.1%.
London’s two leading candidates for Mayor both claimed the return to recession endorsed their policies for the next City Hall term.
Conservative candidate Boris Johnson said the figures “underline just how critical this election is and who has the most credible, positive and fully-costed plan to drive London out of recession, rather than risk lurching back to the waste and financial mismanagement of the past.”
He added: “These are not boom years – no money can be wasted. Londoners must have every confidence that their Mayor can stretch every penny to ensure the biggest impact on Londoners’ lives and squeeze every pound from Government so London is recognised for its contribution to the UK economy.”
Labour’s Ken Livingstone said: “Tory policies clearly aren’t working – they are hurting ordinary people. The Tory mayor in London boasted that he had cut further and faster than the Tory-led coalition.
“The effect is to make ordinary people worse off. Labour will make people better off. My pledges will make Londoners better off”.
Candidates for Mayor include Jenny Jones (Green party), Ken Livingstone (Labour), Lawrence Webb (UKIP) Boris Johnson (Conservative) and Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat). A full list of candidates can be found here.