The Thick of It


Friday, July 16, 2010

Support for Ken Livingstone and Oona King grows

Both Ken Livingstone and Oona King, Labour's two contenders to be Labour's next candidate for London, mayor have received increased backing.

Livingstone today received more union backing,  with Unison joining GMB, Unite and TSSA in support of the former mayor. With unions making up a significant portion of the electoral college that selects the candidate this support could be crucial.

King received the backing of TV historian Simon Schama, to go with that of Neil Kinnock and Alan Johnson. None of these will deliver votes in the selection though Kinnock's support could be influential given the high regard with which he is held in the party.

I encourage all Labour members in London to go to a hustings event and ask the candidates the questions that matter to you. If you do, you might find, like I did last week, that both candidates are purporting to offer the same policies. More investment in infrastructure, more housing and a fairer London. Only one, King, offers a new start. For all his previous achievements, and there are many, London needs a fresh face and one that will take the challenges the city faces seriously.

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