Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson have clashed over the funding of social initiatives after Livingstone described his rival’s plans for a City funded “Mayor’s Fund” as ” a throwback to Charles Dickens”.
Earlier this week Mr Johnson confirmed that Bob Diamond, President of Barclays PLC, would advise him on the setting up of a Mayor’s Fund for community projects.
Visiting South London with Children’s Secretary Ed Balls today Mr Livingstone announced a £79 million government and Mayoral programme to increase youth facilities in London
Mr Livingstone said Johnson’s plan “that our young people should have to depend on charitable handouts from the City of London for the investment they need is a throwback to Charles Dickens nineteenth century world and would be doomed to fail and disappoint them and the local community organisations who need support.”
“Once again he shows himself to be living in some past era and ignorant of how to plan and deliver proper services in a 21st century city.”
Responding to the attack Mr Johnson said “Charitable groups across the capital will be appalled by Ken Livingstone’s unfounded attack on the excellent work that they do. This comes in the same week as the Mayor showed his contempt for the voluntary sector by snubbing the Centre for Social Justice hustings.”
“This shows just how out of touch Mr Livingstone has become.”