Kenneth Robert Livingstone (born 17 June 1945) is an English
politician who served as the Leader of the Greater London Council
(GLC) from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986, and as Mayor
of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008. He also
served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent East from 1987 to
2001. A suspended member of the Labour Party, he was on the party's
hard left, ideologically identifying as a democratic socialist.
Born in Lambeth, South London, to a working-class family, Livingstone
joined Labour in 1968 and was elected to represent Norwood at the GLC
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Hackney North and Stoke Newington in 1977, and
1981, when he was elected leader of the
GLC by Labour members.
Attempting to reduce
London Underground fares, his plans were
challenged in court and declared unlawful; more successful were his
schemes to benefit women and underprivileged minorities, despite stiff
opposition. Livingstone was heavily criticised in the mainstream media
for supporting controversial issues like republicanism, LGBT rights,
and a United Ireland, and given the moniker "Red Ken". Livingstone was
a vocal opponent of the Conservative Party government of Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, which in 1986 abolished the GLC. Elected
as MP for Brent East in 1987, he became closely associated with
anti-racist campaigns. He unsuccessfully stood for Labour Party leader
on a leftist platform in 1992 and 1994, and became a vocal critic of
New Labour project that pushed the party to the centre.
After not being selected to become Labour's candidate in the 2000
London mayoral election, Livingstone successfully contested the
election as an independent candidate. In his first term as Mayor of
London, he introduced the congestion charge, Oyster card, and
articulated buses, and unsuccessfully opposed the government's
privatisation of London Underground. Despite his opposition to Blair's
government on issues like the Iraq War, Livingstone was invited to
stand for re-election as Labour's candidate and was re-elected in
2004, expanding his transport policies, introducing new environmental
regulations, and enacting civil rights policies. Initiating and
overseeing London's winning bid to host the
2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics and
ushering in a major redevelopment of the city's East End, his
leadership after the
7 July 2005 London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings was widely praised.
He stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate in London's mayoral
elections of 2008 and 2012, losing both to the Conservative candidate
Boris Johnson. In 2016, accused of bringing the party into disrepute,
he was suspended from Labour.
Characterised as "the only truly successful left-wing British
politician of modern times", Livingstone is a highly controversial
figure in British politics. Supporters lauded his efforts to improve
rights for women, LGBT people, and ethnic minorities in London, but
critics accused him of cronyism and antisemitism and lambasted his
connections to Islamists, Marxists, and Irish republicans.
1 Early life
1.1 Childhood and young adulthood: 1945–1967
1.2 Political activism: 1968–1970
Lambeth Housing Committee: 1971–1973
1.4 Early years on the Greater London Council: 1973–1977
1.5 Hampstead: 1977–1980
Greater London Council
Greater London Council leadership
2.1 Becoming leader of the GLC: 1979–1981
2.2 Leader of the GLC: 1981–1983
Fares Fair and transport policy
2.2.2 GLEB and nuclear disarmament
2.2.3 Egalitarian policies
2.2.4 Republicanism, Ireland and the Labour Herald
2.3 Abolition of the GLC: 1983–1986
3 Member of Parliament
4 Mayor of London
4.1 Mayoral election: 2000
4.2 First mayoral term: 2000–04
4.3 Second mayoral term: 2004–08
5 Post-mayoral career
5.1 Unsuccessful election: 2008–14
5.2 Under Corbyn's leadership: 2015–
5.2.1 Suspension from the Labour Party
6 Political views
7 Personal life
8 Legacy and influence
10 External links
Childhood and young adulthood: 1945–1967
Livingstone was born in his grandmother's house in Lambeth, south
London, on 17 June 1945. His family was working class; his mother,
Ethel Ada (née Kennard, 1915–1997), had been born in Southwark
before training as an acrobatic dancer and working on the music hall
circuit prior to the Second World War. Ken's Scottish father,
Robert "Bob" Moffat Livingstone (1915–1971), had been born in Dunoon
before joining the Merchant Navy in 1932 and becoming ship's
Having first met in April 1940 at a music hall in Workington, they
married within three months. After the war the couple moved in with
Ethel's aggressive mother, Zona Ann (Williams), whom Livingstone
considered "tyrannical". Livingstone's sister Lin was born
21⁄2 years later. Robert and Ethel went through various jobs
in the post-war years, with the former working on fishing trawlers and
English Channel ferries, while the latter worked in a bakers, at
Freemans catalogue dispatch and as a cinema usherette.
Livingstone's parents were "working class Tories", and unlike many
Conservative voters at the time did not hold to socially conservative
views on race and sexuality, opposing racism and homophobia. The
family was nominally Anglican, although Livingstone abandoned
Christianity when he was 11, becoming an atheist.
Moving to a
Tulse Hill council housing estate, Livingstone attended
St. Leonard's Primary School, and after failing his 11-plus exam, in
1956 began secondary education at
Tulse Hill Comprehensive School.
In 1957, his family purchased their own property at 66 Wolfington
Road, West Norwood. Rather shy at school, he was bullied, and got
into trouble for truancy. One year, his form master was Philip
Hobsbaum, who encouraged his pupils to debate current events, first
interesting Livingstone in politics. He related that he became "an
argumentative cocky little brat" at home, bringing up topics at the
dinner table to enrage his father. His interest in politics was
furthered by the 1958 Papal election of
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII – a man who
had "a strong impact" on Livingstone – and the United States
presidential election, 1960. At
Tulse Hill Comprehensive he gained
his interest in amphibians and reptiles, keeping several as pets; his
mother worried that rather than focusing on school work all he cared
about was "his pet lizard and friends". At school he attained four
O-levels in English Literature, English Language, Geography and Art,
subjects he later described as "the easy ones". He started work rather
than stay on for the non-compulsory sixth form, which required six
From 1962-70, he worked as a technician at the
Chester Beatty cancer
research laboratory in Fulham, looking after animals used in
experimentation. Most of the technicians were socialists, and
Livingstone helped found a branch of the Association of Scientific,
Technical and Managerial Staffs to fight redundancies imposed by
company bosses. Livingstone's leftist views solidified upon the
election of Labour Prime Minister
Harold Wilson in 1964. With a
friend from Chester Beatty, Livingstone toured
West Africa in 1966,
visiting Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Lagos, Ghana and Togo. Interested in
the region's wildlife, Livingstone rescued an infant ostrich from
being eaten, donating it to Lagos children's zoo. Returning home,
he took part in several protest marches as a part of the anti-Vietnam
War movement, becoming increasingly interested in politics and briefly
subscribing to the publication of a libertarian socialist group,
Political activism: 1968–1970
Livingstone joined the Labour Party in March 1968, when he was 23
years old, later describing it as "one of the few recorded instances
of a rat climbing aboard a sinking ship". At the time, many
leftists were leaving in disgust at the Labour government's support
for the U.S. in the Vietnam War, cuts to the National Health Service
budget, and restrictions on trade unions; some joined far-left parties
like the International Socialists or the Socialist Labour League, or
single-issue groups like the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the
Child Poverty Action Group. Suffering mass electoral defeat at the
local elections, in London, Labour lost 15 boroughs, including
Borough of Lambeth, which came under Conservative
control. Contrastingly, Livingstone believed that grassroots
campaigning – such as the 1968 student protests – were
ineffective, joining Labour because he considered it the best chance
for implementing progressive political change in the UK.
"My arrival [at the Norwood Labour Party meetings] had been rather
like taking a bottle of gin into a room full of alcoholics. I was
immediately passed round and consumed."
Ken Livingstone (1987)
Joining his local Labour branch in Norwood, he involved himself in
their operations, within a month becoming chair and secretary of the
Norwood Young Socialists, gaining a place on the constituency's
General Management and Executive Committees, and sitting on the Local
Government Committee who prepared Labour's manifesto for the next
borough election. Hoping for better qualifications, he attended
night school, gaining
O-levels in Human Anatomy, Physiology and
Hygiene, and an A-level in Zoology. Leaving his job at Chester Beatty,
in September 1970 he began a 3-year course at the Philippa Fawcett
Teacher Training College (PFTTC) in Streatham; his attendance was
poor, and he considered it "a complete waste" of time. Beginning a
romantic relationship with Christine Chapman, president of the PFTTC
student's union, the couple married in 1973.
Realising the Conservative governance of
Borough council was
hard to unseat, Livingstone aided Eddie Lopez in reaching out to
members of the local populace disenfranchised from the traditional
Labour leadership. Associating with the leftist Schools' Action Union
(SAU) founded in the wake of the 1968 student protests, he encouraged
members of the
Brixton branch of the Black Panthers to join
Labour. His involvement in the SAU led to his dismissal from the
PFTCC student's union, who disagreed with politicising secondary
Lambeth Housing Committee: 1971–1973
"It was intoxicating to be at what seemed at the time the centre of
events. We were pushing ahead with our schemes. We had honoured our
pledge that pensioners should travel free on London Transport buses.
We introduced the provision of free contraception for anyone who lived
or worked in the borough. When Mrs Thatcher (then Education Secretary)
made it illegal for Education Authorities to give children free school
Lambeth – which was not an education authority – stepped in
to continue paying for the service."
Ken Livingstone on the Labour-run
Borough Council in the early
In 1971, Livingstone and his comrades developed a new strategy for
obtaining political power in
Lambeth borough. Focusing on campaigning
for the marginal seats in the south of the borough, the safe Labour
seats in the north were left to established party members. Public
dissatisfaction with the Conservative government of Prime Minister
Edward Heath led to Labour's best local government results since the
1940s; Labour leftists gained every marginal seat in Lambeth, and the
borough returned to Labour control. In October 1971, Livingstone's
father died of a heart attack; his mother soon moved to Lincoln.
That year, Labour members voted Livingstone Vice-Chairman of the
Housing Committee on the
Borough Council, his first job
in local government. Reforming the housing system, Livingstone and
Committee Chairman Ewan Carr cancelled the proposed rent increase for
council housing, temporarily halting the construction of Europe's
largest tower blocks, and founded a Family
Squatting Group to ensure
that homeless families would be immediately rehoused through squatting
in empty houses. He increased the number of compulsory purchase orders
for private-rented properties, converting them to council housing.
They faced opposition to their reforms, which were cancelled by
Livingstone and the leftists became embroiled in factional in-fighting
within Labour, vying for powerful positions with centrist members.
Although never adopting Marxism, Livingstone became involved with a
number of Trotskyist groups active within Labour; viewing them as
potential allies, he became friends with Chris Knight, Graham Bash and
Keith Veness, members of the Socialist Charter, a Trotskyist cell
affiliated with the Revolutionary Communist League that had
infiltrated the Labour party. In his struggle against Labour
centrists, Livingstone was influenced by Trotskyist Ted Knight, who
convinced him to oppose the use of British troops in Northern Ireland,
believing they would simply be used to quash nationalist protests
against British rule. Livingstone stood as the leftist candidate
for the Chair of the
Lambeth Housing Committee in April 1973, but was
defeated by David Stimpson, who undid many of Livingston and Carr's
Early years on the Greater London Council: 1973–1977
In June 1972, after a campaign orchestrated by Eddie Lopez,
Livingstone was selected as the Labour candidate for Norwood in the
Greater London Council
Greater London Council (GLC). In the 1973
GLC elections, he won the
seat with 11,622 votes, a firm lead over his Conservative rival.
Led by Reg Goodwin, the
GLC was dominated by Labour, who controlled 57
seats, compared to 33 controlled by the Conservatives and 2 by the
Liberal Party. Of the Labour
GLC members, around 16, including
Livingstone, were staunch leftists. Representing Norwood in the
GLC, Livingstone continued as a
Lambeth councillor and Vice Chairman
Lambeth Housing Committee, criticising
dealings with the borough's homeless. Learning that the council had
pursued a racist policy of allocating the best housing to white
working-class families, Livingstone went public with the evidence,
which was published in the
South London Press. In August 1973, he
publicly threatened to resign from the
Lambeth Housing Committee if
the council failed "to honour longstanding promises" to rehouse 76
homeless families then staying in dilapidated and overcrowded halfway
accommodation. Frustrated at the council's failure to achieve this, he
resigned from the Housing Committee in December 1973.
Considered a radical troublemaker by the GLC's Labour management,
Livingstone was allocated the relatively unimportant position of Vice
Chairman of the Film Viewing Board, monitoring the release of soft
pornography. Like most Board members, Livingstone opposed cinematic
censorship, a view he changed with the increasing availability of
violent pornography. With growing support from Labour leftists, in
March 1974 he was elected onto the executive of the Greater London
Labour Party (GLLP), responsible for drawing up the manifesto for the
GLC Labour group and the lists of candidates for council and
parliamentary seats. Turning his attention once more to housing,
he became Vice Chairman of the GLC's Housing Management Committee,
however was sacked in April 1975 for his vocal opposition to the
Goodwin administration's decision to cut £50,000,000 from the GLC's
house-building budget. Coming up to the 1977
Livingstone recognised the difficulty of retaining his Norwood seat,
instead being selected for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, a Labour
safe seat, following the retirement of David Pitt. Accused of being a
"carpetbagger", it ensured he was one of the few leftist Labour
councillors to remain on the GLC, which fell into Conservative hands
under Horace Cutler.
Margaret Thatcher, leader (1975–90) of the Conservative Party, prime
minister (1979–90) of the United Kingdom
Turning towards the Houses of Parliament, Livingstone and Christine
moved to West Hampstead, north London; in June 1977 he was selected by
local party members as the Labour parliamentary candidate for the
Hampstead constituency, beating Vince Cable. He gained notoriety
Hampstead and Highgate Express
Hampstead and Highgate Express for publicly reaffirming his
support for the controversial issue of LGBT rights, declaring he
supported the reduction of the age of consent for male same-sex
activity from 21 to 16, in line with the different-sex age of
consent. Becoming active in the politics of the London
Camden, Livingstone was elected Chair of Camden's Housing Committee;
putting forward radical reforms, he democratised council housing
meetings by welcoming local people, froze rents for a year, reformed
the rate collection system, changed rent arrears procedures and
implemented further compulsory purchase orders to increase council
housing. Criticised by some senior colleagues as incompetent and
excessively ambitious, some accused him of encouraging leftists to
move into the borough's council housing to increase his local support
In 1979, internal crisis rocked Labour as activist group, the Campaign
for Labour Democracy, struggled with the Parliamentary Labour Party
for a greater say in party management. Livingstone joined the
activists, on 15 July 1978 helping unify small hard left groups as the
Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory (SCLV). Producing a
sporadically published paper, Socialist Organiser, as a mouthpiece for
Livingstone's views, it criticised Labour Prime Minister James
Callaghan as "anti-working class". In January 1979, Britain was
hit by a series of public sector worker strikes that came to be known
as the "Winter of Discontent." In Camden Borough, council employees
unionised under the
National Union of Public Employees
National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) went on
strike, demanding a 35-hour limit to their working week and a weekly
wage increase to £60. Livingstone backed the strikers, urging Camden
Council to grant their demands, eventually getting his way. District
auditor Ian Pickwell, a government-appointed accountant who monitored
council finances, claimed that this move was reckless and illegal,
taking Camden Council to court. If found guilty, Livingstone would
have been held personally responsible for the measure, forced to pay
the massive surcharge, and been disqualified for public office for
five years; ultimately the judge threw out the case.
In May 1979, a general election was held in the United Kingdom.
Standing as Labour candidate for Hampstead, Livingstone was defeated
by the incumbent Conservative, Geoffrey Finsberg. Weakened by the
Winter of Discontent, Callaghan's government lost to the
Conservatives, whose leader, Margaret Thatcher, became Prime Minister.
A staunch right winger and free market advocate, she became a bitter
opponent of the labour movement and Livingstone. Following the
electoral defeat, Livingstone told Socialist Organiser that the blame
lay solely with the "Labour government's policies" and the
anti-democratic attitude of Callaghan and the Parliamentary Labour
Party, calling for greater party democracy and a turn towards a
socialist platform. This was a popular message among many Labour
activists amassed under the SCLV. The primary figurehead for this
leftist trend was Tony Benn, who narrowly missed being elected deputy
leader of Labour in September 1981, under new party leader Michael
Foot. The head of the "Bennite left", Benn became "an inspiration and
a prophet" to Livingstone; the two became the best known left-wingers
Greater London Council
Greater London Council leadership
Greater London Council
Greater London Council leadership of
Becoming leader of the GLC: 1979–1981
Inspired by the Bennites, Livingstone planned a
GLC take-over; on 18
October 1979, he called a meeting of Labour leftists entitled "Taking
over the GLC", beginning publication of monthly newsletter the London
Labour Briefing. Focused on increasing leftist power in the London
Labour Party, he urged socialists to stand as candidates in the
GLC election. When the time came to choose who would lead
London Labour in that election, Livingstone put his name down, but was
challenged by the moderate Andrew McIntosh; in the April 1980 vote,
McIntosh beat Livingstone by 14 votes to 13. In September 1980,
Livingstone separated from his wife Christine, though they remained
amicable. Moving into a small flat at 195 Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale
with his pet reptiles and amphibians, he divorced in October 1982 and
began a relationship with Kate Allen, chair of Camden Council Women's
County Hall in Lambeth, then home of the Greater London Council
Livingstone turned his attention to achieving a
GLC Labour victory,
exchanging his safe-seat in Hackney North for the marginal Inner
London seat at Paddington; in May 1981 he won the seat by 2,397
votes. Cutler and the Conservatives learned of Livingstone's
plans, proclaiming that a
GLC Labour victory would lead to a Marxist
takeover of London and then Britain; the rightist press picked up the
story, with the
Daily Express using the headline of "Why We Must Stop
These Red Wreckers". Such scaremongering was ineffective, and the
GLC election of May 1981 was a Labour victory, with McIntosh installed
as Head of the GLC; within 24 hours he would be deposed by members of
his own party, replaced by Livingstone.
On 7 May, Livingstone called a caucus of his supporters; announcing
his intent to challenge McIntosh's leadership, he invited those
assembled to stand for other
GLC posts. The meeting ended at 4:45pm
having agreed on a full slate of candidates. At 5 o'clock, McIntosh
GLC Labour meeting; the attendees called an immediate
leadership election, in which Livingstone defeated him by 30 votes to
20. The entire left caucus slate was then elected. The next day, a
leftist coup deposed Sir
Ashley Bramall on the Inner London Education
Authority (ILEA), replacing him with Bryn Davies; the left group now
controlled both the
GLC and the ILEA.
McIntosh proclaimed the
GLC coup illegitimate, asserting that Labour
was in danger from a leftist take-over. The mainstream right-wing
press criticised the coup; the
Daily Mail called Livingstone a "left
wing extremist", and The Sun nicknamed him "Red Ken", stating his
victory meant "full-steam-ahead red-blooded
Socialism for London." The
Financial Times issued a "warning" that leftists could use such
tactics to take control of the government, when "the erosion of our
democracy will surely begin." Thatcher joined the rallying call,
proclaiming that leftists like Livingstone had "no time for
parliamentary democracy", but were plotting "To impose upon this
nation a tyranny which the peoples of Eastern Europe yearn to cast
Leader of the GLC: 1981–1983
Entering County Hall as
GLC leader on 8 May 1981, Livingstone
initiated changes, converting the building's Freemasonic temple into a
meeting room and removing many of the privileges enjoyed by GLC
members and senior officers. He initiated an open-door policy
allowing citizens to hold meetings in the committee rooms free of
charge, with County Hall gaining the nickname of "the People's
Palace". Livingstone took great pleasure watching the disgust
expressed by some Conservative
GLC members when non-members began
using the building's restaurant. In the London Labour Briefing,
Livingstone announced "London's ours! After the most vicious GLC
election of all time, the Labour Party has won a working majority on a
radical socialist programme." He stated that their job was to "sustain
a holding operation until such time as the Tory [Conservative]
government can be brought down and replaced by a left-wing Labour
government." There was a perception among Livingstone's allies
that they constituted the genuine opposition to Thatcher's government,
with Foot's Labour leadership dismissed as ineffectual; they hoped
Benn would soon replace him.
"There is nothing that happens to you at any stage in your life that
can prepare you for the British Press in full hue and cry. As a
socialist I started out with the lowest possible opinion of Fleet
Street and was amazed to discover that they managed to sink even lower
than I expected... I would spend hours carefully explaining our
policies only to open the paper the next morning and see instead a
smear about my sex-life, alleged personality defects or some
completely fabricated account of a meeting or a split that never
Ken Livingstone, 1987.
There was a widespread public perception that Livingstone's GLC
leadership was illegitimate, while the mainstream British media
remained resolutely hostile to the hard left. Livingstone received
the levels of national press attention normally reserved for senior
Members of Parliament. A press interview was arranged with Max
Hastings for the Evening Standard, in which Livingstone was portrayed
as affable but ruthless. The Sun's editor
Kelvin MacKenzie took a
particular interest in Livingstone, establishing a reporting team to
'dig up the dirt' on him; they were unable to uncover any scandalous
information, focusing on his love of amphibians, a personality trait
mocked by other media sources. The satirical journal Private Eye
referred to him as "
Ken Leninspart" after Vladimir Lenin,
proceeding to erroneously claim that Livingstone received funding from
the Libyan Jamahiriya; suing them for libel, in November 1983 the
journal apologised, awarding Livingstone £15,000 in damages in an
During 1982, Livingstone made new appointments to the
John McDonnell appointed key chair of finance and Valerie Wise
chair of the new Women's Committee, while Sir
Ashley Bramall became
GLC chairman and Tony McBrearty was appointed chair of housing. Others
stayed in their former positions, including Dave Wetzel as transport
chair and Mike Ward as chair of industry; thus was created what
biographer John Carvel described as "the second Livingstone
administration", leading to a "more calm and supportive
environment". Turning his attention once more to Parliament,
Livingstone attempted to get selected as the Labour candidate for the
constituency of Brent East, a place which he felt an "affinity" for
and where several friends lived. At the time, the Brent East Labour
Party was in strife as competing factions battled for control, with
Livingstone attempting to gain the support of both the hard and soft
left. Securing a significant level of support from local party
members, he nonetheless failed to apply for candidacy in time, and so
the incumbent centrist
Reg Freeson was once more selected as Labour
candidate for Brent East. A subsequent vote at the council meeting
revealed that 52 local Labour members would have voted for
Livingstone, with only 2 for Freeson and 3 abstentions. Nevertheless,
in the United Kingdom general election, 1983, Freeson went on to win
the Brent East constituency for Labour. In 1983, Livingstone began
co-presenting a late night television chat show with Janet
Street-Porter for London Weekend Television.
Fares Fair and transport policy
The Greater London Labour Manifesto for the 1981 elections, although
written under McIntosh's leadership, had been determined by a special
conference of the London Labour Party in October 1980 in which
Livingstone's speech had been decisive on transport policy. The
manifesto focused on job creation schemes and cutting London Transport
fares, and it was to these issues that Livingstone's administration
turned. One primary manifesto focus had been a pledge known as
Fares Fair, which focused on reducing
London Underground fares and
freezing them at that lower rate. Based on a fare freeze implemented
South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council in 1975, it was
widely considered to be a moderate and mainstream policy by Labour,
which it was hoped would get more Londoners using public transport,
thereby reducing congestion. In October 1981, the
their policy, cutting London Transport fares by 32%; to fund the move,
GLC planned to increase the London rates.
The legality of the
Fares Fair policy was challenged by Dennis
Barkway, Conservative leader of the
London Borough of Bromley
London Borough of Bromley council,
who complained that his constituents were having to pay for cheaper
fares on the
London Underground when it did not operate in their
borough. Although the Divisional Court initially found in favour of
the GLC, Bromley
Borough took the issue to a court of appeal, where
three judges – Lord Denning, Lord Justice Oliver and Lord Justice
Watkins – reversed the previous decision, finding in favour of
Borough on 10 November. They proclaimed that the Fares Fair
policy was illegal because the
GLC was expressly forbidden from
choosing to run London Transport at a deficit, even if this was in the
perceived interest of Londoners. The
GLC appealed this decision,
taking the case to the House of Lords; on 17 December five Law Lords
unanimously ruled in favour of Bromley
Borough Council, putting a
permanent end to the
Fares Fair policy.
GLC transport chairman
Dave Wetzel labelled the judges "Vandals in Ermine" while Livingstone
maintained his belief that the judicial decision was politically
Initially presenting a motion to the
GLC Labour groups that they
refuse to comply with the judicial decision and continue with the
policy regardless, but was out-voted by 32–22; many commentators
claimed that Livingstone had only been bluffing in order to save face
among the Labour Left. Instead, Livingstone got on board with a
campaign known as "Keep Fares Fair" in order to bring about a change
in the law that would make the
Fares Fair policy legal; an alternate
movement, "Can't Pay, Won't Pay", accused Livingstone of being a
sell-out and insisted that the
GLC proceed with its policies
regardless of their legality. One aspect of the London Transport
reforms was however maintained; the new system of flat fares within
ticket zones, and the inter-modal
Travelcard ticket continues as the
basis of the ticketing system. The
GLC then put together new
measures in the hope of reducing London Transport fares by the more
modest amount of 25%, taking them back to roughly the price that they
were when Livingstone's administration took office; it was ruled legal
in January 1983, and subsequently implemented.
GLEB and nuclear disarmament
Livingstone's administration founded the Greater London Enterprise
Board (GLEB) to create employment by investing in the industrial
regeneration of London, with the funds provided by the council, its
workers' pension fund and the financial markets. Livingstone later
GLC bureaucrats obstructed much of what GLEB tried to
achieve. Other policies implemented by the Labour Left also
foundered. Attempts to prevent the sale-off of
GLC council housing
largely failed, in part due to the strong opposition from the
Conservative government. ILEA attempted to carry through with its
promise to cut the price of school meals in the capital from 35p to
25p, but was forced to abandon its plans following legal advice that
the councillors could be made to pay the surcharge and disqualified
from public office.
The Livingstone administration took a strong stance on the issue of
nuclear disarmament, proclaiming London a "nuclear-free zone". On 20
May 1981, the
GLC halted its annual spending of £1 million on nuclear
war defence plans, with Livingstone's deputy, Illtyd Harrington,
proclaiming that "we are challenging... the absurd cosmetic approach
to Armageddon." They published the names of the 3000 politicians and
administrators who had been earmarked for survival in underground
bunkers in the event of a nuclear strike on London. Thatcher's
government remained highly critical of these moves, putting out a
propaganda campaign explaining their argument for the necessity of
Britain's nuclear deterrent to counter the Soviet Union.
"Arguing that politics had long been the near-exclusive preserve of
white middle-aged men, the
GLC began an attempt to open itself to
representations from other groups, principally from women, the
working-class, ethnic minorities and homosexuals but also from
children and the elderly. This was a real break from traditional
politics as practised centrally by both major parties... and it
attracted hostility from all sides."
Historian Alwyn W. Turner, 2010.
Livingstone's administration advocated measures to improve the lives
of minorities within London, who together made up a sizeable
percentage of the city's population; what
Reg Race called "the Rainbow
GLC allocated a small percentage of its
expenditure on funding minority community groups, including the London
Gay Teenage Group, English Collective of Prostitutes, Women Against
Rape, Lesbian Line, A Woman's Place, and Rights of Women.
Believing these groups could initiate social change, the
its annual funding of voluntary organisations from £6 million in 1980
to £50 million in 1984. They provided loans to such groups,
coming under a barrage of press criticism for awarding a loan to the
Sheba Feminist Publishers, whose works were widely labelled
pornographic. In July 1981, Livingstone founded the Ethnic
Minorities Committee, the Police Committee, and the Gay and Lesbian
Working Party, and in June 1982, a Women's Committee was also
established. Believing the
Metropolitan Police to be a racist
organisation, he appointed
Paul Boateng to head the Police Committee
and monitor the force's activities. Considering the police a
highly political organisation, he publicly remarked that "When you
canvas police flats at election time, you find that they are either
Conservatives who think of Thatcher as a bit of a pinko or they are
The Conservatives and mainstream rightist press were largely critical
of these measures, considering them symptomatic of what they
derogatarily termed the "loony left". Claiming that these only served
"fringe" interests, their criticisms often exhibited racist,
homophobic and sexist sentiment. A number of journalists
fabricated stories designed to discredit Livingstone and the "loony
left", for instance claiming that the
GLC made its workers drink only
Nicaraguan coffee in solidarity with the country's socialist
government, and that
Haringey Council leader
Bernie Grant had banned
the use of the term "black bin liner" and the rhyme "Baa Baa Black
Sheep" because they were perceived as racially insensitive.
Writing in 2008,
BBC reporter Andrew Hosken noted that although most
GLC administration's policies were ultimately a
failure, its role in helping change social attitudes towards women and
minorities in London remained its "enduring legacy".
Republicanism, Ireland and the Labour Herald
Invited to the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral in July 1981, Livingstone – a
republican critical of the monarchy – wished the couple well but
turned down the offer. He also permitted Irish republican protesters
to hold a vigil on the steps of County Hall throughout the wedding
celebrations, both actions that enraged the press. His
administration supported the People's March for Jobs, a demonstration
of 500 anti-unemployment protesters who marched to London from
Northern England, allowing them to sleep in County Hall and catering
for them. Costing £19,000, critics argued that Livingstone was
illegally using public money for his own political causes. The
GLC orchestrated a propaganda campaign against Thatcher's government,
in January 1982 erecting a sign on the top of County Hall – clearly
visible from the
Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament – stating the number of
unemployed in London.
In September 1981, a weekly newspaper, the Labour Herald, was
announced with Livingstone, Ted Knight and Matthew Warburton as
co-editors. It was published by a press owned by the Trotskyist
Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), who had financed it with funding
from Libya and other countries in the middle east. Evidence is
lacking to indicate Livingstone knew about the funding at the
time. Livingstone's commercial relationship with WRP leader
Gerry Healy was controversial among British socialists, many of whom
disapproved of Healy's reputation for violence. In the newspaper
in 1982, perceiving a neglect by Labour of the Israel-Palestine
conflict, Livingstone wrote of "a distortion running right the way
through British politics" because "a majority of Jews in this country
supported the Labour Party and elected a number of Jewish Labour
MPs". The Labour Herald folded in 1985, after Healy was accused
of being a sex offender and he was expelled from the WRP.
"This morning the Sun presents the most odious man in Britain. Take a
bow, Mr Livingstone, socialist leader of the Greater London Council.
In just a few months since he appeared on the national scene, he has
quickly become a joke. But no one can laugh at him any more. The joke
has turned sour, sick and obscene. For Mr Livingstone steps forward as
the defender and the apologist of the criminal, murderous activities
of the IRA."
The Sun lambasts Livingstone after his support for Irish
A supporter of Irish reunification, Livingstone had connections with
the left-wing Irish republican party
Sinn Féin and in July, met with
the mother of an imprisoned
Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA)
militant Thomas McElwee, then taking part in the 1981 Irish hunger
strike. That day, Livingstone publicly proclaimed his support for
those prisoners on hunger strike, claiming that the British
government's fight against the IRA was not "some sort of campaign
against terrorism" but was "the last colonial war." He was heavily
criticised for this meeting and his statements in the mainstream
press, while Prime Minister Thatcher claimed that his comments
constituted "the most disgraceful statement I have ever heard."
Soon after, he also met with the children of Yvonne Dunlop, an Irish
Protestant who had been killed in McElwee's bomb attack.
On 10 October, the IRA bombed London's Chelsea Barracks, killing 2 and
injuring 40. Denouncing the attack, Livingstone informed members of
Tory Reform Group
Tory Reform Group that it was a
misunderstanding to view the IRA as "criminals or lunatics" because of
their strong political motives and that "violence will recur again and
again as long as we are in Ireland." Mainstream press criticised him
for these comments, with The Sun labeling him "the most odious man in
Britain". In response, Livingstone proclaimed that the press coverage
had been "ill-founded, utterly out of context and distorted",
reiterating his opposition both to IRA attacks and British rule in
Northern Ireland. Anti-Livingstone pressure mounted and on 15
October he was publicly attacked in the street by members of unionist
militia, The Friends of Ulster. In a second incident, Livingstone was
attacked by far right skinheads shouting "commie bastard" at the Three
Horseshoes Pub in Hampstead. Known as "Green Ken" among Ulster
Unionists, Unionist paramilitary Michael Stone of the Ulster Defence
Association plotted to kill Livingstone, only abandoning the plan when
he became convinced that the security services were onto
Livingstone's willingness to meet publicly with Irish republican
Gerry Adams (above, pictured in 2001), caused outrage within
his own party and the British press
Livingstone agreed to meet Gerry Adams,
Sinn Féin President and
IRA-supporter, after Adams was invited to London by Labour members of
the Troops Out campaign in December 1982. The same day as the
invitation was made, the
Irish National Liberation Army
Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) bombed
The Droppin Well bar in Ballykelly, County Londonderry, killing 11
soldiers and 6 civilians; in the aftermath, Livingstone was pressured
to cancel the meeting. Expressing his horror at the bombing,
Livingstone insisted that the meeting proceed, for Adams had no
connection with the INLA, but Conservative Home Secretary Willie
Whitelaw banned Adams' entry to Britain with the 1976 Prevention of
Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act. In February 1983,
Livingstone visited Adams in his constituency of West Belfast,
receiving a hero's welcome from local republicans. In July 1983,
Adams finally came to London on the invite of Livingstone and MP
Jeremy Corbyn, allowing him to present his views to a mainstream
British audience through televised interviews. In August,
Livingstone was interviewed on Irish state radio, proclaiming that
Britain's 800-year occupation of Ireland was more destructive than the
Holocaust; he was publicly criticised by Labour members and the
press. He also controversially expressed solidarity with the
Marxist–Leninist government of
Fidel Castro in Cuba against the U.S.
economic embargo, in turn receiving an annual Christmas gift of Cuban
rum from the Cuban embassy.
Courting further controversy, in the
Falklands War of 1982, during
which the United Kingdom battled Argentina for control of the Falkland
Islands, Livingstone stated his belief that the islands rightfully
belonged to the Argentinian people, but not the military junta then
ruling the country. Upon British victory, he sarcastically
remarked that "Britain had finally been able to beat the hell out of a
country smaller, weaker and even worse governed than we were."
Challenging the Conservative government's militarism, the GLC
proclaimed 1983 to be "Peace Year", solidifying ties with the Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in order to advocate international
nuclear disarmament, a measure opposed by the Thatcher
government. In keeping with this pacifistic outlook, they banned
the Territorial Army from marching past County Hall that year.
GLC then proclaimed 1984 to be "Anti-
Racism Year". In July
GLC twinned London with the Nicaraguan city of Managua, then
under the control of the socialist Sandinista National Liberation
Front. The press also continued to criticise the Livingstone
administration's funding of volunteer groups that they perceived
represented only "fringe interests". As Livingstone biographer Andrew
Hosken remarked, "by far the most contentious grant" was given in
February 1983 to a group called Babies Against the Bomb, founded by a
group of mothers who had united to campaign against nuclear
Members of the London Labour groups chastised Livingstone for his
controversial statements, believing them detrimental to the party,
leading Labour members and supporters to defect to the Social
Democratic Party (SDP). Many highlighted Labour's failure to
secure the seat in the
Croydon North West by-election, 1981 as a sign
of Labour's prospects under Livingstone. Some called for
Livingstone's removal, but Michael Foot's Trotskyist assistant Una
Cooze defended Livingstone's position to her boss. Television and
radio outlets welcomed Livingstone on for interviews; described by
biographer John Carvel as having "one of the best television styles of
any contemporary politician", Livingstone used this medium to speak to
a wider audience, gaining widespread public support, something Carvell
attributed to his "directness, self-deprecation, colourful language,
complete unflappability under fire and lack of pomposity", coupled
with popular policies like Fares Fair.
Abolition of the GLC: 1983–1986
"Whatever the long-term achievements of Livingstone's administration,
there is no question that its aggression towards the government and
the Establishment ultimately spelled doom for the GLC. In the eyes of
the government and the media, Livingstone started badly and got worse.
Within eight months, he was in deep crisis and within two years,
Margaret Thatcher had started the wheels in motion for abolition. Such
was the backlash by judges, civil servants, politicians and
journalists that Livingstone failed not only in the key objective of
bringing down Thatcher but also in implementing many of his policies.
It would lay Livingstone open to the allegation that he had laid the
GLC at the sacrificial altar of his ambition."
Biographer Andrew Hosken (2008).
The 1983 general election proved disastrous for Labour, as much of
their support went to the Social Democrat-Liberal Alliance, and
Thatcher entered her second term in office. Foot was replaced by Neil
Kinnock, a man Livingstone considered "repellent". Livingstone
publicly attributed Labour's electoral failure to the leading role
that the party's capitalist wing had played, arguing that the party
should promote a socialist program of "national reconstruction",
overseeing the nationalisation of banks and major industry and
allowing for the investment in new development.
Considering it a waste of rate payer's money, Thatcher's government
was keen to abolish the
GLC and devolve control to the Greater London
boroughs, stating its intention to do so in its 1983 electoral
Secretary of State for Employment Norman Tebbit
GLC as "Labour-dominated, high-spending and at odds with
the government's view of the world"; Livingstone commented that there
was "a huge gulf between the cultural values of the
GLC Labour group
and everything that Mrs Thatcher considered right and proper."
The government felt confident that there was sufficient opposition to
Livingstone's administration that they could abolish the GLC:
according to a MORI poll in April 1983, 58% of Londoners were
dissatisfied and 26% satisfied with Livingstone.
Attempting to fight the proposals, the
GLC devoted £11 million to a
campaign led by
Reg Race focusing on press campaigning, advertising,
and parliamentary lobbying. The campaign sent Livingstone on a party
roadshow conference in which he convinced the Liberal and Social
Democratic parties to oppose abolition. Using the slogan "say no to no
say", they publicly highlighted that without the GLC, London would be
the only capital city in Western Europe without a directly elected
body. The campaign was successful, with polls indicating majority
support among Londoners for retaining the Council, and in March 1984,
20,000 public servants held a 24-hour strike in support. The
government nevertheless remained committed to abolition, and in June
1984 the House of Commons passed the
Local Government Act 1985
Local Government Act 1985 with
237 votes in favour and 217 against. Livingstone and three senior
GLC members resigned their seats in August 1984, to force byelections
on the issue of abolition, but the Conservatives declined to contest
them and all four were comfortably re-elected on a low turnout.
GLC was formally abolished at midnight on 31 March 1986, with
Livingstone marking the occasion by holding a free concert at Festival
Hall. In his capacity as former leader of the GLC, Livingstone
was invited to visit Australia, Israel, and Zimbabwe in the following
months by leftist groups in those countries, before he and Allen
undertook a 5-week Himalayan trek to the base camp of Mount
Member of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament, where Livingstone served as MP
Reg Freeson to represent Labour for the
north-west London constituency of Brent East in the 1987 general
election. When the election came, he narrowly defeated
Conservative candidate Harriet Crawley to become Brent East's MP,
while Thatcher retained the Premiership for a third term.
Livingstone found the atmosphere of the Houses of Parliament
uncomfortable, labeling it "absolutely tribal", and asserting
that "It's like working in the Natural History Museum, except not all
the exhibits are stuffed." There was much hostility between him
and the Parliamentary Labour Party, who allocated him a windowless
office with fellow leftist MP Harry Barnes. He took on Maureen
Charleson as his personal secretary, who would remain with him for the
next 20 years.
In his maiden speech to Parliament in July 1987, Livingstone used
parliamentary privilege to raise a number of allegations made by Fred
Holroyd, a former
Special Intelligence Service
Special Intelligence Service operative in Northern
Ireland. Despite the convention of maiden speeches being
non-controversial, Livingstone alleged that Holroyd had been
mistreated when he tried to expose
MI5 collusion with Ulster loyalist
paramilitaries in the 1970s. Thatcher denounced his claims as "utterly
contemptible". In September 1987 Livingstone was elected to
National Executive Committee (NEC), although was voted off in
October 1989, to be replaced by John Prescott. As Kinnock tried
to pull Labour to the centre, Livingstone worked to strengthen
socialist elements in the party. He continued to make his
opinions known, refusing to pay the controversial poll tax until it
was revoked, and being one of the 55 Labour MPs to oppose British
involvement in the
Gulf War in January 1991. Conversely, he
supported NATO intervention in the Balkans, and the bombing of
In the 1992 general election,
John Major led the Conservatives to a
narrow victory, resulting in Kinnock's resignation as head of Labour.
Livingstone put his name forward as a proposed replacement, with
Bernie Grant as his deputy, although they were not selected, with John
Margaret Beckett taking the positions instead. After
Smith died in May 1994, Livingstone again put his name down as a
potential leader, although withdrew it due to a lack of support.
Tony Blair was selected, with Livingstone predicting that he
would be "the most right-wing leader" in Labour history. Blair
and his supporters sought to reform the party by further expunging
leftist elements and taking it to the centre ground, thus creating
"New Labour", with Blairite
Peter Mandelson asserting that hard left
figures like Livingstone represented "the enemy" of reform.
Throughout 1995, Livingstone unsuccessfully fought Blair's attempts to
Clause Four (promoting nationalised industry) from the Labour
constitution, which he saw as a betrayal of the party's socialist
roots. In 1996, he warned of the growing influence of spin
doctors in the party, and called for Blair to sack Alastair Campbell
after a High Court judge criticised him in a libel trial.
Nevertheless, Blair's reforms led Labour to a landslide victory in the
1997 general election, resulting in the formation of the first Labour
government since 1979. In December 1997, Livingstone joined a
Labour revolt against Blair's attempts to cut benefits to single
mothers, and in March 1998 publicly criticised
Gordon Brown for
advocating "an awful lot of Thatcherite nonsense" and attempting to
London Underground through the PPP scheme. However,
in 1997 he was re-elected to the NEC, beating Mandelson to the
"I want power. I want to change Britain and I'm not ashamed to say it.
Anyone who wants to achieve change would grab at the leadership."
Ken Livingstone on the Labour leadership, 1986.
Livingstone continued his association with members of Trotskyite group
Socialist Action, with the group's leader John Ross became his most
important adviser, teaching him about economics. Investing in an
advanced £25,000 computer, he and Ross used the machine to undertake
complex economic analysis, on the basis of which they began publishing
the Socialist Economic Bulletin in 1990. Two other members of the
Redmond O'Neill and Simon Fletcher, also became trusted
advisers. When Socialist Action founded a campaign group, the
Anti-Racist Alliance, Livingstone came to be closely associated with
it. They campaigned on the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence and the
rise of the far right British National Party, but were disadvantaged
by an ongoing rivalry with the Anti-Nazi League.
As his political significance waned, Livingstone gained more work in
the media, commenting that the press "started to use me only once they
thought I was harmless". To receive these outside earnings, he
founded a company known as Localaction Ltd. In 1987 he authored
an autobiography for HarperCollins, If Voting Changed Anything They'd
Abolish It, conducted journalism for the London Daily News,
stood in for
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 disk-jockey Jimmy Young, and served as a
judge for that year's Whitbread Prize. In 1989, Unwin Hyman
published his second book, Livingstone's Labour: A Programme for the
90s, in which he expressed his views on a variety of issues,
while that same year he was employed to promote
Red Leicester cheese
in adverts for the National Dairy Council and to appear in adverts for
British Coal alongside Edwina Currie. In October 1991 Livingstone
began writing a column for Rupert Murdoch's right-wing tabloid The
Sun, a controversial move among British socialists. In his column
he often discussed his love of amphibians and campaigned for the
protection of the great crested newt, on the basis of which he was
appointed vice president of the
London Zoological Society
London Zoological Society in
1996–97. He subsequently began to write a food column for
Esquire and then the Evening Standard, also making regular appearances
BBC quiz show Have I Got News For You?. In 1995,
Livingstone was invited to appear on the track "Ernold Same" by the
Mayor of London
Mayoral election: 2000
Main article: London mayoral election, 2000
City Hall, opened 2002, specially built for the Greater London
Authority and mayor in Southwark
By 1996, various prominent public figures were arguing for the
implementation of directly-elected mayors for large UK cities like
London. The idea of a London mayor of a Greater London Authority
had been included in Labour's 1997 election manifesto, and after their
election a referendum was scheduled for May 1998, in which there was a
72% yes vote with a 34% turnout. With the first mayoral election
scheduled for May 2000, in March 1998 Livingstone stated his intention
to stand as a potential Labour candidate for the position.
Blair did not want Livingstone as London Mayor, claiming the latter
was one of those who "almost knocked [the party] over the edge of the
cliff into extinction" during the 1980s. He and the Labour spin
doctors organised a campaign against Livingstone to ensure that he was
not selected, with Campbell and Sally Morgan unsuccessfully attempting
Oona King to denounce Livingstone. They failed to convince
Mo Mowlam to stand for the mayorship, and instead encouraged the
Frank Dobson to stand. Recognising that a 'one member,
one vote' election within the London Labour Party would probably see
Livingstone selected over Dobson, Blair ensured that a third of the
votes would come from the rank-and-file members, a third from the
trade unions, and a third from Labour MPs and MEPs, the latter two of
which he could pressure into voting for his own preferred candidate,
something that Dobson was deeply uncomfortable with. Information
on the Blairite campaign against Livingstone became public, costing
Dobson much support; nevertheless, due to the impact of the MPs and
MEPs, Dobson won the candidacy with 51% to Livingstone's 48%.
Livingstone proclaimed Dobson to be "a tainted candidate" and stated
his intention to run for the Mayoralty as an independent candidate.
Aware that this would result in his expulsion from Labour, he publicly
stated that "I have been forced to choose between the party I love and
upholding the democratic rights of Londoners." The polls
indicated clear support for Livingstone among the London electorate,
with his campaign being run by his Socialist Action associates.
He gained the support of a wide range of celebrities, from musicians
like Fatboy Slim, Pink Floyd, the Chemical Brothers, and Blur, artists
Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin, and those from other fields, among
Ken Loach, Jo Brand, and Chris Evans, the latter of whom donated
£200,000 to the campaign; half of what Livingstone required. In
March 2000, Livingstone agreed to make a public apology to the House
of Commons, after he was criticised over his failure to properly
register outside interests worth more than £150,000. The
election took place in May 2000, at which Livingstone came first with
58% of first and second-preference votes; Conservative candidate
Steven Norris came second and Dobson third. Livingstone started
his acceptance speech with "As I was saying before I was so rudely
interrupted 14 years ago..."
First mayoral term: 2000–04
Livingstone now had "the largest and most direct mandate of any
politician in British history", receiving an annual salary of
£87,000. It was the Mayor's job to oversee a number of
subordinate bodies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for
London (TfL), the London Development Agency, and the London Fire
Brigade, and in doing so he was granted a number of executive
powers. He would be scrutinised by the elected London Assembly,
whose first chairman was Trevor Phillips, a Labour politician who had
a reciprocated dislike of Livingstone. Livingstone was permitted
twelve principal advisers, many of whom were members of Socialist
Action or people whom he had worked with on the GLC. Ross and
Fletcher became two of his closest confidants, with Livingstone
commenting that "They aren't just my closest political advisers...
they're also mostly my best friends." In 2002, he promoted six of
his senior aides, resulting in allegations of cronyism from Assembly
members. The Mayoral office was initially based in temporary
headquarters at Romney House in Marsham Street, Westminster,
while a purpose-built building was constructed in Southwark; termed
City Hall, it was officially opened by Queen
Elizabeth II in July
2002, with Livingstone commenting that it resembled a "glass
Much of Livingstone's first two years were devoted to setting up the
Mayoral system and administration. He also devoted much time to
battling New Labour's plans to upgrade the
London Underground system
through a public–private partnership (PPP) program, believing it to
be too expensive and tantamount to the privatisation of a state-owned
service. He furthermore had strong concerns about safety; PPP would
divide different parts of the Underground among various companies,
something that he argued threatened a holistic safety and maintenance
program. These concerns were shared by the National Union of Rail,
Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and the Associated Society of
Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) trade union, who went on
strike over the issue, being joined on the picket line by
Bob Kiley as transport commissioner, the
duo argued that the upgrade should be carried out in state hands
through a public bond issue, as had been done in the case of the New
York City Subway. They launched court cases against the government
over PPP in 2001–02, but were ultimately unsuccessful, and the
project went ahead, with the Underground being privatised in January
Livingstone's administration introduced the fleet of articulated
"bendy buses" to replace the Routemasters
Although he had initially stated that he would not do so,
Livingstone's administration sought to phase out use of the
Routemaster buses, the design for which dated to the 1950s. Although
iconic, they were deemed hazardous and responsible for a high number
of deaths and serious injuries as passengers climbed onto them, also
being non-wheelchair accessible and thus not meeting the requirements
of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The process was gradual,
with the last Routemaster being decommissioned in December 2005.
The Routemasters were replaced by a new fleet of 103 articulated
buses, known colloquially as "bendy buses", which were launched in
June 2002. While the Routemasters fitted 80 people on at one time, the
articulated buses fitted up to 140 passengers, however they were
deemed dangerous for cyclists. Attempting to reduce London's
environmental impact, Livingstone created the London Hydrogen
Partnership and the London Energy Partnership in his first term as
Mayor of London. The Mayor's Energy Strategy, "green light to
clean power," committed London to reducing its emissions of carbon
dioxide by 20%, relative to the 1990 level, by 2010.
Livingstone sought to remove the pigeons from Trafalgar Square; he
tried to evict seed sellers and introduced hawks to scare the pigeons
off. He pedestrianised the north side of the Square, transforming
it into a public space with a cafe, public toilets, and a lift for the
disabled. He introduced an annual
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day festival to
celebrate the contributions of the Irish to London, and revived
London's free anti-racism music festival, now called Rise: London
United, later attributing London's 35% decrease in racist attacks to
this and other anti-racist policies. Continuing his support for
LGBT rights, in 2001 he set up Britain's first register for same-sex
couples; while falling short of legal marriage rights, the register
was seen as a step towards the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
Livingstone's relationship with Kate Allen ended in November 2001,
although they remained friends. He then started a relationship
with Emma Beal, together having two children, Thomas (born December
2002) and Mia (born March 2004). At a May 2002 party in Tufnell
Park, Livingstone got into an argument with Beal's friend Robin
Hedges, a reporter for the Evening Standard. Hedges subsequently fell
off of a wall, bruised his ribs and ended up in hospital; the press
claimed that Livingstone had pushed him, although he insisted that he
did not. Liberal Democrats on the
London Assembly referred the matter
to the Standards Board for England, who ruled that there was no
evidence for any wrongdoing on Livingstone's behalf.
London congestion charge
London congestion charge signage
As proposed in their election manifesto, in February 2003
Livingstone's administration introduced a congestion charge covering 8
square miles in central London, charging motorists £5 a day for
driving through the area. It was introduced in an attempt to deter
traffic and reduce congestion; Livingstone himself took the London
Underground to work, and tried to inspire more Londoners to use public
transport rather than cars. The policy was highly controversial, and
strongly opposed by businesses, resident groups, the roads lobby, and
the Labour government; many commentators recognised that if opposition
resulted in the policy being abandoned then it could lead to the end
of Livingstone's political career. That year, the Political
Studies Association named Livingstone 'Politician of the Year' due to
his implementation of the 'bold and imaginative' scheme. The
scheme resulted in a marked reduction on traffic in central London,
resulting in improved bus services, and by 2007, TfL could claim that
the charge had reduced congestion by 20%. To further
encourage the use of public transport, in June 2003, the Oyster card
system was introduced, while bus and Underground journeys were
made free for people aged 11 to 18.
A car rental company's "Red Ken's Tax Paid" car sticker: a negative
comment on the congestion charge
In 2002, Livingstone came out in support of a proposal for the 2012
Olympic Games to be held in London. He insisted however that the Games
must be held in the East End, and result in an urban regeneration
program centred on the Lee Valley. He gained the support of Labour's
culture secretary Tessa Jowell, who convinced the government to back
the plans in May 2003. In May 2004, the International Olympic
Commission put London on the shortlist of potential locations for the
Games, alongside Paris, Madrid, Moscow, and New York City; although
Paris was widely expected to be the eventual victor, London would
prove successful in its nomination. Another major development
project was launched in February 2004 as the London Plan, in which
Livingstone's administration laid out their intentions to deal with
the city's major housing shortage by ensuring the construction of
30,000 new homes a year. It stressed that 50% of these should be
deemed "affordable housing" although later critics would highlight
that in actuality, the amount of "affordable housing" in these new
constructions did not exceed 30%.
Livingstone had no control over government policy regarding
immigration, which had resulted in a significant growth in foreign
arrivals coming to London during his administration; from 2000 to 2005
London's population grew by 200,000 to reach 7.5 million. He
didn't oppose this, encouraging racial equality and celebrating the
city's multiculturalism. Livingstone condemned the UK's
involvement in the
Iraq War and involved himself in the Stop the War
campaign. In November 2003, he made headlines for referring to US
George W. Bush
George W. Bush as "the greatest threat to life on this
planet," just before Bush's official visit to the UK. Livingstone also
organised an alternative "Peace Reception" at City Hall "for everybody
who is not George Bush," with anti-war Vietnam veteran
Ron Kovic as
the guest of honour.
Livingstone's success with the congestion charge and rejuvenation of
Trafalgar Square led the Labour leadership to reconsider their
position on him, with Blair re-admitting him to the party and asking
that he stand as their Mayoral candidate for the 2004 election.
Livingstone eagerly agreed, and Labour Mayoral candidate Nicky Gavron
volunteered to take a subordinate position as his deputy. In
campaigning for the election, Livingstone highlighted his record: the
congestion charge, free bus travel for under 11s, 1000 extra buses,
and 5000 extra police officers, whereas his main competitor, the
Conservative Steve Norris, campaigned primarily on a policy of
abolishing the congestion charge. Livingstone continued to court
controversy throughout the campaign; in June 2004 he was quoted on The
Guardian's website as saying: "I just long for the day I wake up and
find that the Saudi Royal Family are swinging from lamp-posts and
they've got a proper government that represents the people of Saudi
Arabia", for which he was widely criticised. That same
month he came under criticism from sectors of the left for urging RMT
members to cross picket lines in a proposed Underground strike because
the latest offer had been "extremely generous", leading RMT general
Bob Crow to step down as a TfL board member. In the
London mayoral election, 2004, Livingstone was announced as the winner
on 10 June 2004. He won 36% of first preference votes to Norris's 28%
and Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes's 15%. When all the candidates
except Livingstone and Norris were eliminated and the second
preferences of those voters who had picked neither Livingstone or
Norris as their first choice were counted, Livingstone won with 55% to
Second mayoral term: 2004–08
Livingstone attends the 2007
St Patrick's Day
St Patrick's Day celebrations in London.
War on Terror
War on Terror and threat from Al Qaeda, Livingstone sought to
build closer ties to the London's Muslim community, controversially
agreeing to meet with Islamist groups like the Muslim Association of
Britain alongside moderate organisations. In July 2004, he
attended a conference discussing France's ban on the burka at which he
talked alongside Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Livingstone
described al-Qaradawi as "one of the most authoritative Muslim
scholars in the world today" and argued that his influence could help
stop the radicalisation of young British Muslims. The move was
controversial, with Jewish and LGBT organisations criticising
Livingstone, citing al-Qaradawi's record of anti-Semitic and
homophobic remarks, with the meeting leading to a publicised argument
between Livingstone and his former supporter Peter Tatchell.
Livingstone continued to champion the Palestinian cause in the
Israel-Palestine conflict, in March 2005 accusing Israeli Prime
Ariel Sharon of being a "war criminal" responsible for the
1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre.
During his second term, Livingstone continued his support for London's
bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, playing a crucial role in securing
vital Russian support for the bid. On 6 July 2005, in a ceremony held
Singapore attended by Livingstone, London was announced as the
victor, resulting in widespread celebration. The following day,
British-born Islamist suicide bombers undertook three attacks on the
Underground and another on a bus, killing 52 civilians. Livingstone
gave a speech from
Singapore denouncing the attackers as terrorists,
before immediately returning to London. Informing the
Western foreign policy was largely to blame for the attacks, his
response to the situation was widely praised, even by opponents.
Fearing an Islamophobic backlash against the city's Muslim minority,
he initiated an advertising campaign to counter this, holding a rally
for inter-community unity in Trafalgar Square. A second, failed
suicide bombing attack took place on 21 July, and in the
aftermath police officers shot dead a Brazilian tourist, Jean Charles
de Menezes, whom they mistook for a bomber. Police initially lied
about the killing, resulting in widespread condemnation, although
Livingstone defended the actions of
Metropolitan Police commissioner
In the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, Livingstone initiated a
campaign to celebrate London's multiculturalism
While leaving a City Hall LGBT reception at City Hall in February
2005, Livingstone objected to an
Evening Standard photographer
"harassing" other guests. When asked for a quote by Evening Standard
journalist Oliver Finegold, Livingstone likened him to "a German war
criminal." When Finegold objected on the grounds that he himself was
Jewish, Livingstone accused him of acting, "just like a concentration
camp guard," and asserting that he (Finegold) worked for the
"reactionary bigots... who supported fascism" at the Daily
Mail. Although the
Evening Standard initially did not deem
the comments newsworthy, they were leaked to The Guardian, resulting
in accusations of anti-Semitism against Livingstone from the Board of
Deputies of British Jews. There were many calls for Livingstone
to apologise, including from Tony Blair, the London Assembly, a
Holocaust survivors group and his deputy Gavron (the daughter of a
Holocaust survivor), but Livingstone refused. The Standards
Board for England asked the
Adjudication Panel for England to deal
with Livingstone on the issue, who in February 2006 found him guilty
of bringing his office into disrepute and suspended him from office
for a month. The decision was controversial, with Livingstone and many
others arguing that an unelected board should not have the power to
suspend an elected official. In October 2006 at the High
Court of Justice, Justice Collins overturned the decision to suspend
Although he had alienated much of London's Jewish community,
Livingstone denied charges of anti-Semitism, holding regular meetings
with the city's Jewish groups and introducing public Hanukkah
Trafalgar Square in December 2005. He
came under further accusations of anti-semitism in March 2006 for
asserting that the Indian-born Jewish businessmen David and Simon
Reuben should "go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the
ayatollahs" if they did not like Britain; he claimed he had mistakenly
believed them to be Iranian Muslims. He refused to apologise
to the Reubens at the time, instead offering "a complete apology to
the people of Iran for the suggestion that they may be linked in any
way to the Reuben brothers". The GLA rejected the accusation of
misconduct against Livingstone over the incident in June 2006,
but he did make a general apology for causing offence to Jews in the
previous few years in December that year.
In March 2006, Livingstone publicly criticised foreign embassies in
London who refused to pay the congestion charge under the conditions
of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. His criticism
focused on US diplomat Robert Tuttle, condemning him as a "chiselling
little crook" whose embassy was refusing to pay the £1.5 million he
believed it owed. In February 2007, Livingstone's administration
doubled the congestion charge zone by extending it westwards into
Kensington and Chelsea, despite opposition from resident groups.
In October 2007, the government agreed to go ahead with Crossrail, a
£16 billion project to construct a train line under central London,
Berkshire to Essex. Meanwhile, Livingstone felt
vindicated in his former opposition to public private partnership when
one of the companies who now controlled part of the Underground,
Metronet, collapsed in July 2007, with the state having to intervene
to protect the service. Livingstone had also welcomed the
construction of skyscrapers in London, giving the go ahead for 15 to
be constructed during his Mayoralty, including
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe and The
Shard. He considered it necessary to fill the demand for office space,
but was criticised by groups and individuals, most notably Charles,
Prince of Wales, concerned about the preservation of historic
Livingstone's emotional apology for London's role in the transatlantic
In May 2006, Livingstone welcomed Venezuelan President
Hugo Chávez to
London, hosting an event for him at City Hall. This was condemned by
various Conservatives claiming that Chávez's democratic socialist
government had undermined pluralistic democracy. Livingstone
proceeded to accept the presidency of the pro-Chávez Venezuelan
Information Centre. In November 2006, Livingstone travelled to
Latin America to visit Chávez, during which he and his entourage
stayed in Cuba at a cost of £29,000; many British sources condemned
the visit as a waste of tax-payer's money. In August 2007, it was
announced that Livingstone had come to an agreement with oil-rich
Venezuela; Chávez's government would supply £16 million a year worth
of free oil to TfL, who would use it to subsidise half priced bus
fares for 250,000 Londoners on benefits. In return, London would
provide expertise in running transport, as well as other services such
as CCTV and waste management.
Livingstone helped organise the first "Eid in the Square" event at
Trafalgar Square in commemoration of the Islamic
Eid ul-Fitr festival
in October 2006. In May 2007, Livingstone travelled to New York
City to attend the C40 conference of major world cities to deal with
environmentalist issues. One of the leading figures of the conference,
he called for other cities to adopt congestion charging as an
environmental measure. In August 2007, he issued a public apology
on behalf of London for its role in the transatlantic slave trade. He
selected the anniversary of the
Haitian Revolution on which to do it,
and in his tearful speech asserted that it was the resistance of
enslaved persons rather than the philanthropy of wealthy whites that
led to the trade's end.
A week later he attended the unveiling of the statue of Nelson Mandela
in Parliament Square, where he met with Nelson Mandela. In June
2007, he criticised the planned £200 million Thames Water
Desalination Plant at Beckton, which will be the United Kingdom's
first, calling it "misguided and a retrograde step in UK environmental
policy", and that "we should be encouraging people to use less water,
not more." In October 2007,
London Councils stated Livingstone
had gone back on his promise to chair the developing London Waste and
Recycling Board, and to provide £6 million of funding for the
project, because "the government had failed to provide him with
absolute control of the Board."
Livingstone was defeated by Conservative candidate Boris Johnson
Livingstone intended to stand again as Labour candidate in the London
Mayoral election, 2008, this time against Conservative candidate Boris
Johnson. At the start of the campaign Livingstone took Johnson
more seriously than many others were doing, referring to him as "the
most formidable opponent I will face in my political career."
Much of Labour's campaign revolved around criticising Johnson for
perceived racist and homophobic comments that he had made in the past,
although Johnson strenuously denied that he was bigoted.
Livingstone also proposed that if he were to win a third term he would
increase the congestion charge fee to £25 for the most polluting
vehicles, while removing it for the least, and that he would also
introduce a cycling scheme based on the
Vélib' system in Paris.
As part of his campaign, Livingstone highlighted that by 2008, the
Metropolitan Police had 35,000 officers, 10,000 more than it had had
in 2000, also highlighting statistics to indicate falling crime rates
across the city during his Mayorship. Nevertheless, there had
been a recent rise in gang killing among young people, with 27
teenagers having been killed in gang warfare during 2007, a statistic
used by Johnson's campaign who emphasised the idea that a Johnson
administration would be far tougher on youth crime and anti-social
Further controversy rocked Livingstone's campaign in December 2007
Evening Standard journalist
Andrew Gilligan alleged that one of
Livingstone's close advisers, Lee Jasper, had siphoned off at least
£2.5 million from the
London Development Agency
London Development Agency to fund black
community groups with which he was closely associated. Livingstone
stood by Jasper and claimed that the
Evening Standard campaign was
racist, but ultimately agreed to suspend Jasper while a full
investigation took place. An independent report into the affair
by District auditor Michael Haworth-Maden in July 2009 found no
evidence of "misappropriation of funds" but noted "significant" gaps
in financial paperwork. The election took place in May 2008, and
witnessed a turnout of approximately 45% of eligible voters, with
Johnson receiving 43.2% and Livingstone 37% of first-preference votes;
when second-preference votes were added, Johnson proved victorious
with 53.2% to Livingstone's 46.8%.
Unsuccessful election: 2008–14
Newly elected, Mayor Johnson paid tribute to Livingstone and his "very
considerable achievements", hoping that the new administration could
"discover a way in which the mayoralty can continue to benefit from
your transparent love of London". Johnson's administration
nevertheless reversed a number of Livingstone's policies, for instance
overturning the deal for Venezuelan oil. Intent on
giving Venezuela the "advice that we promised", in August
2008 Livingstone announced that he would be advising urban planning in
Caracas. Livingstone predicted that in twenty
years it could become a "first-world city", and hoped to help
with his "very extensive network of contacts both domestically and
"Obviously everyone respects the decision of the electorate. But it is
already clear that Boris Johnson's Tory regime is one of decline [in]
London: economic decline, social decline, cultural decline and
environmental decline. This is the real root of the incompetence [his
administration] has shown in its first two months in office. I believe
this will become increasingly obvious and therefore I will use the
normal methods of democratic debate to convince electors that the
previous policies were successful and the new ones will fail."
Ken Livingstone (2008)
In January 2009, Livingstone responded to the Gaza War by calling for
European Union and the UK to bring home their ambassadors to
Israel to express disapproval for the "slaughter and systematic murder
of innocent Arabs". From September 2009 to March 2011,
Livingstone presented the book review programme Epilogue for the
Iranian state-sponsored international news channel Press TV, for which
he came under criticism from Iranian exile groups. In July
2010, he spoke at the Durham Miners' Gala, praising working class
culture. He also used the speech to attack spending cuts by the
new coalition government, claiming they were not necessary.
In September 2010, Livingstone criticised public spending cuts
announced by the recently elected Conservative-Liberal Democrat
coalition government, which he stated amounted to £45 billion a year
for London alone, and were "beyond Margaret Thatcher's wildest dreams"
as well as threatening to result in widespread division and poverty
across the capital. In May 2011, Livingstone said he was
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden had been shot dead by US Special
forces "in his pyjamas" and "in front of his kid," and that the values
of a western democracy would have been best demonstrated if Bin Laden
had been put on trial and his words challenged.
Livingstone stood for the Labour candidacy as 2012 Mayoral candidate.
His campaign attracted criticism when he joked that the election was
"a simple choice between good and evil", and when he was accused
of anti-semitism by Jewish Labour supporters for suggesting that being
largely wealthy, the Jewish community would not vote for him. He
denied making the comments, but nevertheless
Johnson's campaign emphasised the accusation that Livingstone was
guilty of tax evasion, for which Livingstone called Johnson a
"bare-faced liar". The political scientist Andrew Crines believed
that Livingstone's campaign suffered from its focus on criticising
Johnson rather than presenting an alternate and progressive vision of
London's future, also suggesting that after decades in the public
eye, Livingstone had come to be seen as an over-familiar and
politically tired figure by the London electorate. On 4 May 2012
Livingstone was defeated in the London 2012 Mayoral Elections by the
incumbent Mayor, Boris Johnson. There was only a difference of 62,538
votes between the 2 candidates with Livingstone receiving 992,273
votes and Johnson receiving 1,054,811 votes. Livingstone criticised
bias in the media and declared that he would be bowing out of
politics. He remained publicly critical of Johnson over the
coming years. In April 2014, he believed Johnson would soon become
leader of the Conservative Party and advised Labour "not to make the
mistake of assuming they're dealing with a hardline right-wing
ideologue", but to "concentrate on the fact they’re dealing with a
fairly lazy tosser who just wants to be there".
Under Corbyn's leadership: 2015–
Livingstone after a Radio 4
Any Questions? programme in 2016
In May 2015, Livingstone endorsed
Sadiq Khan to be the Labour
candidate for the 2016 London mayoral election, and in July
Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 Labour Party leadership
election. After Corbyn was elected Labour leader, Livingstone was
one of his most prominent allies; in November 2015 Corbyn appointed
Livingstone to co-convene Labour's defence review alongside Maria
Eagle. This appointment was criticised by shadow defence minister
Kevan Jones, who expressed the view that Livingstone knew little about
defence and that it would damage the party's reputation. Livingstone
responded by claiming that Jones – who has spoken about his own
clinical depression – needed "psychiatric help". Jones took offense,
and while Livingstone initially refused to apologise, he subsequently
did so at Corbyn's urging.
Livingstone faced further criticism following a television appearance
in which he stated that the perpetrators of the 2005 London bombings
carried out their actions as retribution for UK involvement in the
Iraq War. In March 2016, Livingstone again courted
controversy by comparing a hedge fund manager's £16,800 donation to
Labour MP Dan Jarvis to "
Jimmy Savile funding a children's
group"; it subsequently emerged that Livingstone himself had
received £8,000 from a Bermuda-based hedge fund called Meditor for a
speaking engagement, leading to accusations of hypocrisy. Livingstone
responded that rather than "double standards" it was "different
standards", he was paid for a speaking engagement where he would have
told the room of the need for the City to invest more in the economy,
which he felt was distinct from taking a political donation from a
hedge fund manager.
Suspension from the Labour Party
Livingstone's membership of Labour was suspended in April 2016 after
he was accused of "bringing the party into disrepute" following a BBC
Radio London interview in which he claimed
Adolf Hitler "was
supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million
Jews". Livingstone had been invited to discuss the
suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah, after it became known Shah had
forwarded a satirical map on
Facebook suggesting that Israel should be
relocated to the United States. Livingstone described Shah's
postings, which were made before she became an MP at the 2015 general
election, as "rude and over-the-top" but not antisemitic, adding that
he had never encountered antisemitism in Labour. Livingstone
defended his claim about Hitler and Zionism by reference to Lenni
Brenner's Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, and many
commentators suggested that Livingstone was referring to the Haavara
Nazi Germany and the Zionist Federation of
Germany. Livingstone's statements were criticised
by historians, although the political scientist Norman
Finkelstein said that whilst "Livingstone maybe wasn't precise enough,
and lacked nuance", his comments did reflect Hitler's initial
ambivalence towards Zionism.
Livingstone supported Jeremy Corbyn's candidature as Labour leader; a
year later Corbyn suspended Livingstone's party membership
Over 20 Labour MPs called for Livingstone's suspension and Sadiq Khan
called for his expulsion. Jon Lansman, founder of the pro-Corbyn
Momentum group, called for Livingstone to leave politics
altogether. Labour MP John Mann publicly confronted Livingstone
and accused him of being a "liar" and a "Nazi apologist". In a
subsequent interview, Livingstone expressed regret both for mentioning
Hitler and for offending Jews but added that "I'm not going to
apologise for telling the truth". He stated that it was
"absurd" to call him an anti-Semite because he had had two former
Jewish girlfriends, and that he may have maternal Jewish
ancestry. Livingstone said there was "well-orchestrated
campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli
policy as antisemitic".
Corbyn announced that the decision whether to expel Livingstone would
be made by a
National Executive Committee (NEC) internal inquiry;
Livingstone insisted he would be exonerated, saying "how can the truth
be an offence?" In April 2017, Labour's National Constitutional
Committee held that Livingstone had brought the party into disrepute,
ordering his suspension be continued for another year.
The Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson stated that it was
"incomprehensible" that the NEC had not decided to expel
Livingstone; Corbyn, disappointed in Livingstone's failure "to
acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused", said a new NEC
investigation would consider the comments he made after his initial
suspension. As the date for the end of his suspension
approached, in March 2018 Labour's outgoing general
Iain McNicol declared Livingstone's suspension to be
indefinite as his last official act.
Ken never had a very clear political philosophy.
Ken never read
philosophical books from a political point of view. He had a gut
feeling; he was always opposed to exploitation and inequalities in a
big way. He had a social conscience and wanted to do something about
it. But he saw it within the existing parliamentary and political
system. He didn't consider taking up arms against anybody as a way
forward or dramatically changing the electoral system. He thought you
could persuade and change the Labour Party."
Ted Knight on Livingstone.
Within the Labour Party, Livingstone was aligned with the hard
left. Historian Alwyn W. Turner noted that Livingstone's entire
approach to politics revolved not simply around providing public
services, but in trying to change society itself; in his words, he
wanted to get away from the concept of "old white men coming along to
general management committees and talking about rubbish
collection." Biographer John Carvel, a journalist from The
Guardian, remarked that Livingstone's political motivation was a
"fundamental desire... for a more participative, cooperative society",
leading him to oppose "concentrations of power and... exploitation in
all its forms – economic, racial and sexual." However,
Livingstone has also described his approach to fiscal policy as
"monetarist": "I was a monetarist right from the beginning when I was
leader of the GLC. We paid down debt every year. We had an absolutely
Livingstone describes himself as a socialist. In 1987, he stated that
"politics is my religion. It's my moral framework. I believe a
socialist society is inherently the best thing, and that's like an act
of faith." In 2007, he stated that "I still believe one day that
the idea that the main means of production are owned by private
individuals... will be considered as anti-democratic as the idea serfs
could be tied to the land. But I will not be alive when that day
comes." Livingstone had always worked towards a unified socialist
front on the British left, and disliked the tendency towards
splintering and forming rival factions, usually over issues of
political theory, among the socialist community. Although
rejecting Marxism, throughout his political career he has worked
alongside Marxist far-left groups and has become involved with the
"politics of the street". He has not worked with those Marxist
groups, such as the Socialist Workers Party and the Revolutionary
Communist Party, who advocate the destruction of the Labour Party as
the way forward for socialism, seeing their beliefs as incompatible
with his own. Livingstone has consistently opposed the actions of
the Israeli government. In a 2005 interview he said that he was not
against the existence of Israel, but rather Ariel Sharon's government;
he recalled that on his 1986 visit to the country he got on well with
its left-wing politicians.
Livingstone has consistently rejected being defined under any
particular ideological current of socialism. Recognising this, in
2000, the former Labour Party leader
Neil Kinnock asserted that
Livingstone could only be defined as a "Kennist". Livingstone's
understanding of politics arises from his studies of animal behaviour
and anthropology; rejecting the idea that the human species is
naturally progressing (a view advocated by socialists like the Fabian
Society), Livingstone instead took the view that human society is
still coming to terms with the massive socio-economic changes that it
experienced upon the development of agriculture during the Neolithic.
Highlighting that a hunter-gatherer mode of subsistence is more
natural to the human species, he believes that modern society has to
adopt many hunter-gatherer values – namely mutual co-operation and
emphasis on human relationships rather than consumerism – in order
Historian Alwyn W. Turner noted that Livingstone was a "gifted
communicator and self-publicist" who was able to stump his opponents
using his "mischievous sense of humour". Biographer John Carvel
echoed these comments, highlighting that Livingstone had a "talent for
public speaking". Biographer Andrew Hosken noted that many of
those who had worked with Livingstone had commented on him being an
excellent boss, who was "a good delegator, decisive and supportive" as
well as being "a friendly and modest colleague." Jenny McCartney,
a reporter from The Spectator, expressed the view that "in person he
is hard to dislike. There's a notable absence of pomposity in his
manner, a propensity to laughter, and his love of an ideological scrap
is allied to a calm, sometimes wry style of delivery: it looks fiercer
on paper." In The Guardian, the journalist Hugh Muir described
Livingstone as a man who is "happiest in the limelight, discomforted
by the periphery" and who also "hates to apologise... especially when
called upon [to do so]... by media or political opponents for whom he
has no respect".
On the issue of nationality, Livingstone has expressed the view that
he identifies as English rather than British, although his father was
Scottish and he supports the continued existence of the United
Kingdom. Although raised into a nominally Christian family,
Livingstone renounced religious belief when he was eleven, becoming an
atheist. In a 2005 interview he commented that in doing so he had
rejected "mumbo-jumbo in favour of rational science." He is known
for his enthusiasm for gardening and keeping and breeding newts. He
was the first person to breed the Western Dwarf Clawed Frog
Hymenochirus curtipes in captivity. Livingstone is a big fan
The Godfather film franchise, stating that the actions of the
criminal organisations within the movies are very much akin to the
world of politics.
Livingstone repeatedly attempted to keep his family life private,
commenting that "I expect that my private life is not in the public
domain and I'm rude to any journalist who turns up... at home".
It is known that he has five children. Livingstone married
Christine Pamela Chapman in 1973; the marriage ended in divorce in
1982. Around that time he became involved with Kate Allen, now
Amnesty International in the UK; the couple separated in
November 2001. He then entered a relationship with his office
manager, Emma Beal; they have a son and a daughter together.
Livingstone and Beal married on 26 September 2009 in the Mappin
Pavilion of London Zoo. They live in North London.
Livingstone had also fathered three children prior to 2000; a boy by
one mother and two girls by another. The children were born to
two different women while Livingstone was involved with Kate Allen,
according to an article by Decca Aitkenhead:
In his memoir, he describes how one was an old friend who was keen to
have children but feared she was running out of time. "We had never
been involved romantically but I knew her well enough to know she
would be a wonderful mother and so I said I would like to be the
father of her children." A daughter was born in 1990, and another in
1992. Then another friend said she'd like to have children: "And we
agreed to have a baby." Their son was born within weeks of his
daughter in 1992.
Legacy and influence
Throughout his career, Livingstone has polarised public opinion,
and was widely recognised as a risk-taker. Supporters described
him as the "People's Ken" and an "anti-politician politician", opining
that he had the common touch with working-class Londoners that most
British politicians lacked. He was widely recognised for having
improved the status of minority groups in London. He was also
deemed a "formidable operator" at City Hall, with an "intimate
knowledge" of London. He was also criticised during his career.
During his Mayorship, he faced repeated accusations of cronyism for
favouring his chosen aides over other staff. One of his
supporters, Atma Singh, commented that under Livingstone's leadership,
a culture of bullying pervaded at City Hall, although this was denied
by many other staff there.
During the 1980s,
Spitting Image featured a fictionalised version of
Livingstone voiced by Harry Enfield. In 1990,
BBC show The Comic
Strip produced an episode entitled "GLC: The Carnage Continues..." in
Robbie Coltrane played a fictionalised portrayal of Charles
Bronson playing Livingstone in a Hollywood movie.
Kate Bush wrote
the song "Ken" for the episode, which was then released as a B-side to
her single "Love and Anger".
Jeremy Corbyn denies crisis as
Ken Livingstone suspended". BBC
^ a b
BBC News 2009.
^ Moore 2007; Purnell 2011, p. 314; Eaton 2014.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 26, 28; Hosken 2008, p. 1.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 27; Carvel 1999, p. 17; Hosken 2008,
^ "Births England and Wales 1837–1915". Freebmd.org.uk. 21 June
2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 27–28; Carvel 1999, pp. 18, 36; Hosken
2008, p. 2; Edwards & Isaby 2008, pp. 32–33.
^ Barratt, Nick (7 April 2007). "Family Detective:
The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 27–28; Hosken 2008, pp. 1–2;
Livingstone 2011, p. 1.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 28.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 28–30, 32; Hosken 2008, p. 4.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 32; Hosken 2008, p. 11.
^ a b Livingstone 2005.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 31–32; Hosken 2008, pp. 4–6; Edwards
& Isaby 2008, p. 33.
^ Carvel 1984. pp. 31–32.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 37; Livingstone 1987, p. 14; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, p. 35.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 37.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 36; Hosken 2008, p. 7; Edwards & Isaby
2008, p. 33.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 37; Hosken 2008, p. 9.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 38; Livingstone 1987, p. 13; Hosken 2008,
pp. 9–10; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 33.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 39; Livingstone 1987, p. 14; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, p. 38; Livingstone 1987, p. 14.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 38; Hosken 2008, p. 11; Edwards &
Isaby 2008, p. 33.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 39; Livingstone 1987, p. 14.
^ a b Carvel 1984, pp. 39–40; Livingstone 1987, p. 11;
Hosken 2008, pp. 13–14.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 41; Hosken 2008, p. 14.
^ Livingstone 1987, pp. 12–13.
^ Livingstone 1987, p. 11.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 40; Livingstone 1987, p. 13; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 44–45; Hosken 2008, pp. 16–18.
^ Livingstone 1987, pp. 16–17.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 18.
^ Livingstone 1987, p. 22.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 41; Livingstone 1987, pp. 18–19; Hosken
2008, p. 20.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 44.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 42; Livingstone 1987, p. 21; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, p. 42; Livingstone 1987, p. 23.
^ Livingstone 1987. p. 26.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 27–36.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 42–43; Livingstone 1987, pp. 26–27;
Hosken 2008, pp. 22–23.
^ Livingstone 1987, pp. 28–31, 33.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 45; Livingstone 1987, pp. 40, 42; Hosken
2008, p. 39.
^ Livingstone 1987, p. 42; Hosken 2008, p. 39.
^ Livingstone 1987, p. 38; Hosken 2008, pp. 55–56.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 42; Hosken 2008, p. 56.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 54; Livingstone 1987, pp. 47, 53–55;
Hosken 2008, pp. 46–47.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 57.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 59; Livingstone 1987, p. 70; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 59, 61–62; Hosken 2008, p. 50.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 63; Livingstone 1987, pp. 83–84; Hosken
2008, pp. 57–59.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 63.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 63–65; Livingstone 1987, pp. 96–99;
Hosken 2008, pp. 57–59.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 52–53.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 67–68; Livingstone 1987, pp. 86, 89;
Hosken 2008, p. 60.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 61–62.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 66–67; Livingstone 1987, pp. 99–100;
Hosken 2008, pp. 62–63.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 67; Hosken 2008, p. 64.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 67–68; Livingstone 1987, pp. 90–91;
Hosken 2008, pp. 67–69; Turner 2010, p. 32.
^ Livingstone 1987, pp. 90, 92–94, 107–113; Hosken 2008,
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 87, 91, 105; Hosken 2008, pp. 96, 98.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 14; Hosken 2008, pp. 77–78.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 10; Livingstone 1987, pp. 133–136;
Hosken 2008, p. 84.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 15; Livingstone 1987, p. 137.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 16–18; Livingstone 1987, pp. 138–140;
Hosken 2008, pp. 88–91.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 20.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 18–20; Hosken 2008, p. 95.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 19; Hosken 2008, pp. 94–95.
^ Livingstone 1987, pp. 144–145; Hosken 2008, pp. 91–92.
^ a b Livingstone 1987, p. 151; Hosken 2008, p. 100.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 86; Hosken 2008, p. 92.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 100–101.
^ Livingstone 1987, p. 154.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 86; Hosken 2008, pp. 94–96, 98.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 13–14.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 96–97.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 88; Hosken 2008, p. 98; Turner 2010,
^ Hosken 2008, p. 110.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 184–185; Hosken 2008, pp. 137–138.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 149, 195.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 166–175; Hosken 2008, pp. 174–181.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 199.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 83–84; Hosken 2008, p. 101.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 115–118.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 128–133; Hosken 2008, pp. 117–118.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 135–136.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 137–138.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 140–143.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 148–150.
^ Turner 2010, p. 80.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 203–204.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 126; Livingstone 1987, pp. 148–149.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 124–126.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 124.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 152–155.
^ Turner 2010, p. 154.
^ a b Hosken 2008, pp. 142–145.
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 148.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 142–143.
^ a b Turner 2010, p. 90.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 142–148; Turner 2010, p. 154.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 145–146; Turner 2010, p. 155.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 156.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 90–91; Livingstone 1987, pp. 145–146;
Hosken 2008, p. 99; Turner 2010, p. 78.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 86; Livingstone 1987, pp. 151–152;
Hosken 2008, pp. 99–100.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 153; Turner 2010, p. 86.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 126.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 133–36.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 137–39.
^ Dovkants, Keith (17 April 2008). "Anti-semitism - and a timely
question for Ken". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 182–184; Hosken 2008, pp. 126–135.
^ Bennett, Asa (5 April 2017). "Eight dodgy things
Ken Livingstone has
said about Jews, and Hitler". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April
^ Hosken 2008, p. 139.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 158.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 88–90, 100; Hosken 2008, pp. 103–104.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 104–105.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 95–97; Hosken 2008, pp. 158–159;
Turner 2010, p. 86.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 98; Hosken 2008, p. 159.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 161.
^ Matthew Tempest, "Loyalists planned to kill Livingstone", The
Guardian, 10 June 2003
^ "My plot to murder Livingstone, by former hitman"
thisislondon.co.uk, 1 November 2006
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 157–159; Hosken 2008, pp. 165–168.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 160; Hosken 2008, p. 169.
^ a b Carvel 1984, p. 161.
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 417.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 156.
^ Turner 2010, p. 113.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 155.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 168–169.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 151.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 145–146.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 207; Hosken 2008, p. 151.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 93–95.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 162–163.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 109.
^ Carvel 1984, p. 102.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 113–114.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 191–193.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 219–223.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 199–200; Hosken 2008, pp. 195–199.
^ Turner 2010, p. 171.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 197.
^ Carvel 1984, pp. 213–218; Hosken 2008, pp. 198–202.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 174; Hosken 2008, p. 202.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 202–204.
^ Clayton, Hugh (21 September 1984). "Livingstone poll win denounced
as 'stunt'". The Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 235–236.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 217–218.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 214; Hosken 2008, p. 240.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 220; Hosken 2008, p. 243.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 243–244.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 277.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 244–245.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 274–274.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 234–235; Hosken 2008, p. 246.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 237; Hosken 2008, p. 253.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 218–219, 222.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 240; Hosken 2008, pp. 275–276.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 244.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 241; Hosken 2008, pp. 276–277.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 242; Hosken 2008, pp. 278–279.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 79.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 280.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 283–284.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 285.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 293.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 246–247.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 241.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 230–231; Hosken 2008, pp. 256–263;
Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 38.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 238; Hosken 2008, pp. 274–275; Edwards
& Isaby 2008, p. 38.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 274–275.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 265–269.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 280–281.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 239; Hosken 2008, p. 282.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 218; Hosken 2008, p. 240.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 240.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 240–241.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 232; Hosken 2008, pp. 272–273.
^ Carvel 1999, pp. 231–232; Hosken 2008, pp. 280–281.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 240; Hosken 2008, pp. 273–274.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 283.
^ a b c d Hosken 2008, p. 281.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 290.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 253; Hosken 2008, pp. 290–291, 296;
Edwards & Isaby 2008, pp. 1–4.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 296–297.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 267; Hosken 2008, p. 294.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 297.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 299.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 300; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 305–311; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 312–314.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 314.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 316.
^ "Livingstone to apologise to MPs".
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 316–317; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 316–317.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 322.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 330.
^ Carvel 1999, p. 271; Hosken 2008, p. 321.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 321–322.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 322–333.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 325–327.
^ a b Hosken 2008, pp. 357–358.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 320.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 333–334.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 328.
^ a b Hosken 2008, pp. 328–332; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 404–405; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 405–406; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ a b "Mayor of London, the
London Assembly and the Greater London
Authority, "London Climate Change Agency,"". Archived from the
original on 3 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 333; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 27.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 353; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 27.
^ "Irish London".
BBC London. 12 October 2005.
Ken Livingstone (6 June 2006). "Festivals play their part in
fighting racism". The Guardian. London.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 413–414; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, p. 339.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 337, 339.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 339–342; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 342–348; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
Political Studies Association
Political Studies Association Awards 2003" (PDF). Retrieved 7 July
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 350–351.
^ "Congestion charge zone increases".
BBC News. 19 February 2007.
Retrieved 4 April 2010.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 407–408; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, p. 408.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 360–383.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 364.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 408–409; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 16.
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 17.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 377.
BBC News. 9 May 2003. Retrieved 4 April
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 353–355; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
pp. 13, 39.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 356.
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 357.
^ Ashley, Jackie (8 April 2004). "Jail Sharon and create 50% top tax
rate, says Livingstone". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April
^ "Anger at Livingstone Saudi 'rant'".
BBC News. 8 April 2004.
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, pp. 14–15.
^ Hélène Mulholland (11 June 2004). "Livingstone re-elected as
London mayor". The Guardian.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 377–378.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 279–282; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
Ken Livingstone (4 March 2005). "This is about Israel, not
anti-semitism". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 4 April
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 265–266.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 369–373.
^ "Mayor blames Middle East policy".
BBC News. 20 July 2005.
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 18; Purnell 2011, p. 330.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 374.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 374–375.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 375–377.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 385–386; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Tryhorn, Chris (10 February 2005). "Livingstone attacks 'scumbag'
Standard". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 387–388; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 390–391; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
London Assembly censures Livingstone over Nazi jibe". The Scotsman.
15 February 2005.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 388–340; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ "Mayor is suspended over Nazi jibe".
BBC News. 24 February
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 398–340; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ "Ken's suspension order thrown out".
BBC News. 5 October 2006.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 397.
^ "Mayor hosts ceremony for Hanukkah". Mayor Of London. 3 December
^ City Hall marks Jewish festival, BBC.co.uk, 28 December 2005.
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 425.
^ a b Paul, Jonny (9 December 2006). "Livingstone Apologizes to UK's
Jews". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
^ "Mayor defiant over Olympics row".
BBC News. 21 March 2006.
Retrieved 2 April 2017.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 406; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 24.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 407; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ Hosken 2008, p. 407.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 409; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 28.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 419–420.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 421.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 418–419.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 421–422; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
^ "Oil deal signals lower bus fares".
BBC News. 20 August 2007.
Retrieved 4 April 2010. ; "Livingstone secures cheap oil from
Chávez". Financial Times. 20 February 2007.
^ Londoners United and Rejoicing Archived 27 September 2007 at the
Wayback Machine. –
Muslim Council of Britain Press release.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 423.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 423–424.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 424.
^ "Mayor critical of government plans to approve desalination plant".
Greater London Authority. 15 June 2007. Archived from the original on
7 May 2008.
London Councils expresses regret at Mayor's decision to dump waste
and recycling board". London Councils. Archived from the original on
15 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 426.
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 67; Purnell 2011, p. 314.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 426–427; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
pp. 67–69; Purnell 2011, p. 315.
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 100.
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 412.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 411; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
pp. 20–21, 101.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 427–431; Edwards & Isaby 2008,
pp. 79–82, 97–98, 103–104.
^ "Auditor clears former aide to
Ken Livingstone". The Independent on
Sunday. London. 12 July 2009. pp. 28, 29. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ Edwards & Isaby 2008, pp. 200–201.
^ "Johnson wins London mayoral race".
BBC News. 3 May 2008. Retrieved
5 May 2008.
^ a b c "Livingstone to be Chavez adviser".
BBC news. 28 August 2008.
Retrieved 29 August 2008.
^ a b Hamilton, Fiona (29 August 2008). "
Ken Livingstone is new
transport adviser for Hugo Chávez". The Times. London, UK. Retrieved
29 August 2008.
^ a b c Carroll, Rory (28 August 2008). "Livingstone to advise Chávez
on urban issues". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 29 August
^ a b c d "Livingstone advises Caracas". The Press Association. 28
August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
^ Owen 2008.
^ age last updated Stars call for ceasefire in Gaza, BBC, 2 January
^ Annie Lennox calls for end to Gaza bombardment, Associated Press, 2
^ Martin Fletcher (20 January 2011). "Exiles outraged at Livingstone
role on Iran TV mouthpiece". The Times. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
Ken Livingstone under fire for earning thousands from Iranian TV
role". Thisislondon. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
^ "Durham Miners Gala". Counterfire. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 1 May
Ken making miners' gala debut". The Northern Echo. 10 July
2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
^ "Livingstone speaks out against 'breathtaking scale' of cuts".
Tribunemagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ Ross, Tim (17 April 2012). "
Ken Livingstone: Bin Laden should not
have been shot". London, UK: Telegraph. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
^ Dominiczak 2011.
Ken Livingstone: Jews won't vote Labour because they are rich". The
Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
^ Cusick, James (22 March 2012). "Livingstone 'says Jews are too rich
to vote for him'". The Independent. London, UK. Retrieved 15 April
^ "Former London mayor forced to apologize over controversial remarks
to Jewish activists". Haaretz. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
^ Crines 2013, p. 3.
^ Crines 2013, p. 2.
^ Crines 2013, p. 5.
^ Sparrow, Andrew (4 May 2012). "
Boris Johnson wins London mayoral
election: Politics live blog". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May
^ "London mayor:
Boris Johnson wins second term by tight margin". BBC
News. 5 May 2012.
^ Eaton, George (30 April 2014). "
Ken Livingstone: 'Boris is a lazy
tosser who just wants to be there'". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 April
^ Pippa Crerar (18 May 2015). "Former mayoral rivals for Labour ticket
join forces to back Sadiq Khan". The Evening Standard.
^ Staff (24 July 2015). "
Jeremy Corbyn could be prime minister – Ken
Livingstone". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
^ George Eaton (17 November 2015). "
Ken Livingstone to co-convene
Labour's defence review". New Statesman.
Ken Livingstone makes 'unreserved' apology for 'psychiatric help'
comment". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ Watt, Nicholas (1 December 2015). "Blair guilty of 'criminal
irresponsibility' over Iraq war, says Livingstone". Guardian.
Retrieved 1 December 2015.
Tony Blair to blame for 7/7 bombings". BBC. 27
November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
^ Singer (21 April 2016). "Sir Trevor Chinn becomes latest Labour
donor to fund the
Dan Jarvis machine". Total Politics. Archived from
the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
^ Mason, Rowena (11 March 2016). "
Ken Livingstone stands by Dan Jarvis
hedge fund comments". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
Ken Livingstone was paid £8,000 fee by hedge fund". ITV News. 12
March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ a b Asthana, Anushka; Mason, Rowena (28 April 2016). "Ken
Livingstone suspended from Labour after Hitler remarks". The Guardian.
Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ a b "
Ken Livingstone suspended by Labour Party in 'anti-Semitism'
BBC News. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ Taylor, Adam (28 April 2016). "Zionism and Hitler? A guide to the
wild scandal rocking Britain's left". The Washington Post. Retrieved
28 April 2016.
^ Rentoul, John (28 April 2016). "
Ken Livingstone has deservedly gone
Naz Shah made a genuine apology we should be prepared to
accept". The Independent. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ a b Hughes, Laura (28 April 2016). "
Ken Livingstone says Labour
should reinstate him because everything he said about Jewish people
"was true"". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ Beaumont, Peter (1 May 2016). "
Ken Livingstone muddies history to
support claims on Hitler and Zionism". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May
^ "Corbyn may not be antisemitic. But is he a real leader?". The
Guardian. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ "Labour MPs call for
Ken Livingstone to be suspended over
anti-Semitism remarks". The Independent. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 1
^ "Livingstone's Hitler comments: Was ex-London mayor historically
accurate, anti-Semitic or both?". International Business Times UK. 29
April 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ Schulze, Rainer. "Labour antisemitism row: there was nothing Zionist
about Hitler's plans for the Jews". The Conversation. Retrieved 6 May
^ "Livingstone Hitler comments 'inaccurate'".
BBC News. Retrieved 6
^ Winer, Stuart (25 March 2016). "Livingstone says Netanyahu agrees
with him in 'Hitler backed Zionism' row". The Times of Israel.
Retrieved 1 May 2016.
^ Stern-Weiner, Jamie; Finkelstein, Norman (3 May 2016). "The American
Jewish scholar behind Labour's 'antisemitism' scandal breaks his
silence". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
^ Simons, Ned (28 April 2016). "
Ken Livingstone Branded A 'Nazi
Apologist' In Angry Confrontation With Labour MP John Mann". The
Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
Ken Livingstone stands by Hitler comments".
Ken Livingstone's Remarkable LBC Interview In Full".
Ken Livingstone said he can't be anti-Semitic 'because he's dated
Jewish women'". 2016.
^ "UK Israel-basher Livingstone wonders if he has Jewish roots".
Ken Livingstone: 'I could be Jewish'". 2016.
^ Mason, Rowena; Asthana, Anushka; Sparrow, Andrew (28 April 2016).
Ken Livingstone's Hitler remarks spark Labour calls for suspension".
The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ "'How can truth be offensive?' Asks unrepentant
Ken Livingstone in
anti-Semitism row". Herald Scotland. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 3 May
Ken Livingstone suspended again by Labour".
BBC News. 4 April 2017.
Retrieved 4 April 2017.
^ Collier, Hatty (4 April 2017). "
Ken Livingstone suspended from
Labour for one year for Hitler and Zionism claims". London Evening
Standard. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
^ McCann, Kate (4 April 2017). "
Ken Livingstone escapes expulsion from
the Labour party over claims Zionists collaborated with the Nazis".
The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
^ "Tom Watson: Failure to expel
Ken Livingstone from Labour 'shames us
all'". ITV News. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
Jeremy Corbyn announces new investigation". BBC
News. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
^ Waugh, Paul (5 April 2017). "
Jeremy Corbyn Condemns
And Orders New Investigation Into Hitler Remarks". The Huffington
Post. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
^ "Labour MPs warn against re-admitting
Ken Livingstone to party". The
Daily Telegraph. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
^ Harpin, Lee (28 February 2018). "Labour warned by JLM over allowing
lifting of Livingstone suspension". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1
^ "Labour suspends
Ken Livingstone indefinitely over anti-Semitism
BBC News. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
^ a b Hosken 2008. p. 29.
^ Carvel 1984. p. 178.
^ a b Turner 2010. p. 79.
^ Carvel 1984. p. 194.
^ Greig, Geordie (13 July 2010). "
Ken Livingstone: I was a weedy kid
but, like Boris, I survived on my wits". London Evening Standard.
London. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 244.
Ken (25 January 2007). "Davos 07: why should a
socialist mayor come?". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 10 March
^ Carvel 1984. pp. 68–69, 178.
^ Hosken 2008. p. 26.
^ Carvel 1984. p. 179.
^ Bunder, Leslie (17 November 2005). "
Ken Livingstone interview".
Something Jewish. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
^ Carvel 1984. p. 180.
^ Carvel 1984. pp. 185–187.
^ Carvel 1984. p. 177.
^ Hosken 2008. p. 101.
^ a b McCartney 2014.
^ Muir, Hugh (29 April 2016). "Is this self-ignited firestorm the end
Ken Livingstone?". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
^ Livingstone 2011, p. 38.
^ Would I Lie to You? Series 3 Episode 2.
BBC Television. First
broadcast 17 August 2009.
^ Hosken 2008. p. 66.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 337–338.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 337; Edwards & Isaby 2008, p. 144.
^ Womack, Sarah (6 November 2001). "Livingstone splits up with
long-time lover". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 4 April
^ a b Hosken 2008, p. 337.
^ Decca Aitkenhead, "
Ken Livingstone: 'It's an autobiography, not
porn'", The Guardian, 21 October 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 432.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 360, 432.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 413.
^ Hosken 2008, pp. 359–360.
^ Hosken 2008, p. 358.
Kate Bush Once Wrote A Song About
Ken Livingstone". 28 March 2014.
Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2 November
Carvel, John (1984). Citizen Ken. London: Chatto & Windus.
Carvel, John (1999). Turn Again Livingstone. Hatton Garden, London:
Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-86197-131-9.
Crines, Andrew S. (2013). "Why did
Boris Johnson win the 2012 mayoral
election?". Public Policy and Administration Research. 3 (9):
Edwards, Giles; Isaby, Jonathan (2008). Boris v. Ken: How Boris
Johnson Won London. London: Politico's.
Hosken, Andrew (2008). Ken: The Ups and Downs of
Arcadia Books. ISBN 978-1-905147-72-4.
Ken (1987). If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish it.
London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-217770-6.
Ken (17 November 2005). "
Ken Livingstone interview".
Something Jewish (Interview). Interview with Leslie Bunder.
Jewish.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
Ken (2011). You Can't Say That: Memoirs. Faber and Faber.
McCartney, Jenny (13 September 2014). "So,
Ken Livingstone, do you
like Boris personally? 'No'". The Spectator.
Moore, Charles (21 April 2007). "Make London part of Britain Again".
Purnell, Sonia (2011). Just Boris: Boris Johnson: The Irresistible
Rise of a Political Celebrity. London: Aurum Press Ltd.
Turner, Alwyn W. (2010). Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s.
London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-525-6.
Mulholland, Hélène (24 September 2010). "
Ken Livingstone beats Oona
King to Labour nomination for London mayor". The Guardian. London:
Guardian Media Group.
Owen, Paul (18 July 2008). "
Ken Livingstone to run again for London
mayor". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group.
Ken Livingstone ties knot at zoo". London:
BBC News. 26 September
Wikiquote has quotations related to:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Ken Livingstone : Rebel Mayor (5 May
The Observer Profile:
Ken Livingstone – Capital chap by Jay Rayner,
published in The Observer, 10 July 2005
Ken Livingstone speaker profile
Compendium of articles about
Ken Livingstone at the
National Portrait Gallery, London
National Portrait Gallery, London
"Archival material relating to
Ken Livingstone". UK National
Leader of the Greater London Council
Mayor of London
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Member of Parliament
for Brent East
Mayors of London
Ken Livingstone (2000–08)
Boris Johnson (2008–16)
Sadiq Khan (2016–)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2103 0733
BNF: cb12265660r (data)