Friday, 17 October 2008

Will Labour AMs back Ken Livingstone for 2012?

Labour Assembly Members are said to have informally agreed to back Ken Livingstone as their candidate for Mayor in 2012, Tory Troll can reveal.

Some Labour AMs had initially opposed the idea of Ken running again, but according to one of their number, changed their minds when it became clear that he may run either with or without them.

The key to their decision is thought to have been the possibility that he might stand against them as an independent candidate or even as a candidate for the Green Party instead. 

However, a senior Green source said the party have had no talks with Livingstone, who would have to become a member and go through a lengthy selection process before even being considered.

Similarly Ken would need the backing of the wider Labour party if he were to ever run again on a Labour ticket.

Comeback Ken?

Relationships between the Labour group and Ken have always been complicated, starting as they did in opposition to him in 2000.

John Biggs was initially scathing of the former mayor and Ken would often jokingly refer to the 2000 intake as Labour's 'second eleven'.

When he rejoined the party in 2004, several Assembly Members hoped that he would only run for one more term before handing over to another candidate, most likely Diane Abbot.

Their informal decision to back Ken for 2012 has therefore only become known through the loose lips of one Labour Assembly Member, who shall remain anonymous.

It seems highly unlikely that the group as a whole will formally back his candidature until at least after the next general election.

But with Ken still in the public eye, and with no other candidate yet to play their hand, it looks increasingly likely that Labour will turn to him once again.


Anonymous said...

What about John Cruddas?

The Troll said...

Its' certainly a name that's been suggested by some people. However, I always thought he was more interested in getting the Labour leadership. Ken backed him for deputy leader as well I think.

Chris said...

Personally I think the only chance Labour have is with a new face. Someone like Cruddas would get my vote, but I don't know if I would be enthused to go out and vote for Ken again. Four years is a long time and my opinion of a Ken candidature might change, but as things stand it seems that his time has past.

A casual observer said...

Belatedly saw this earlier in Socialist Unity:

"Tucker: A one word answer if possible, Ken - are you going to run in 2012?

Livingstone: There isn’t a one word answer to that. I mean, if Boris stepped under a bendy bus tomorrow…"

bobbin said...

No wonder he's so keen on scrapping them!

Further evidence of the risk he's under here.

The Troll said...

*Steps in to point out that nobody should ever consider pushing Boris under a bus. It wouldn't be nice and people have to get to work.*

Rob said...

I think Sir Ian Blair would be the ideal candidate, or you'd think John Biggs would have earned a shot by now.

The Troll said...

Boris always teases Biggs at MQT about his ambitions to be Mayor.

I'm not a Labour member so I don't have a vote and despite what Ian Dale says, this is not a Labour blog (it would be nice if you asked next time Dale) but as long as it's not this idiot I'd be happy.

Tom said...

"I think Sir Ian Blair would be the ideal candidate, or you'd think John Biggs would have earned a shot by now."

Unfortunate juxtaposition of 'Ian Blair' and 'shot' there, Rob.

asquith said...

Well, I've been considering it, & I do think Livingstone achieved quite a lot in office & will be well regarded by history. The congestion charge was a great success & he was in general very environmentally friendly, combining this with prosperity as it could be done.

His policies on transport & the environment were really spot on & I think he made an excellent fist of governing such a large, complicated city with so many problems with poverty etc.

I would still have voted for Paddick, & the Greens second, but Livingstone is certainly preferable to BoJo.

Yes, he consorted with a few prize idiots, but they didn't influence what he did as mayor so I am not bothered. He is a first-class governor, & certainly he has been rewarded with far more popularity than New Labour have got nationwide.

prj45 said...

I think it'd be more likely Boris would cycle under a bendy bus; after jumping off the pavement he was riding along and gunning a red light naturally, the law breaking little ******r.

victor allen said...

It's impossible to know what it'll be like in four weeks let alone 4 years, but Ken's strength above all his rivals on the left is that he did have a grasp of the huge investment that was needed in London to make it work. Seems his critics of the right who insisted that the market would sort it out are the ones who daren't show in 2012.
If you want to keep up with Ken now - he isn't going away, look up
He might even be enjoying himself.

Anonymous said...

Total rubbish. Ken is too old, too past it and would never be able to win. We have a good three years to find the right candidate and Ken trying to stitch up the selection early by threatening to run as an independent is a form of blackmail (again!).

The Troll said...

This story didn't come from Ken Livingstone so I don't think you can really say he is stitching anything up. He has been pretty open about wanting to stand again, which is his right along with any other labour member. If anyone else wants to stand (for Labour or as an independent) they still can can't they, or have I missed something?

Personally I think it would be good to have some other high profile independent candidates running next time. The mayoralty shouldn't just be restricted to the three main parties.

M said...

I'm really pleased that Ken wants to stand again. Brilliant!

angelneptunestar said...

Ken is far too original and too witty and independent thinking for the Labour Party to back him. They will want some mindless woodentop they can control, who couldn't handle a wet dream and who brown noses Gordon as a God and carries bananas and stuff like that.

ps. the joke about Boris and the bendy bus is really funny..... like all Ken's jokes.

angelneptunestar said...

Dianne Abbott! She was the one who called Gordon a God, well she is in then.

None of them will beat Boris, everyone knows that.

organic cheeseboard said...

They might not need to beat Boris. Labour are in the resurgence now and the next partilament might well be hung. Not sure how long Cameron could hold on with that sort of relative failure, from such an unassailable position, and bo-Jo is nothing if not ambitious...

angelneptunestar said...

"They might not need to beat Boris. Labour are in the resurgence now and the next partilament might well be hung."

Oh no they are not in the resurgence! They have had a temporary bounce because Gordon's grinning mug was unavoidably plastered all over the press. It will only take a few more weeks for Cameron to get right back in the attack, and as soon as he does, bye bye bounce. they don't stand a prayer, I would bet anything you like that in the next election, Labour are pasted from here to Hades.