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Saturday, 10 March 2012

The wheels are falling off Livingstone's campaign

Following a disastrous few weeks for Ken Livingstone's campaign rumours are circulating that members of London Labour are so angry about his hypocrisy over tax avoidance, Ken calling people who indulge tax avoidance "rich b******s" while avoiding £50,000 in tax himself, are circulating a petition to try and get Ken removed as Labour candidate and replaced by the Baroness King of Bow. 

Mr Livingstone is repeatedly hit by Channel4's factcheck team referring to his pledges as "fiction". He was hit by an open letter on Labour List, from Labour PPC for Thirsk & Malton criticising him for his style and "fiction" pledges and his disloyalty to the Labour party in Tower Hamlets backing an Independent over the official Labour candidate and his tax avoidance. An open letter described by the Shadow Public Health Minister, Diane Abbott, as A silly "ad hominem" attack on Ken. A little bit disingenuous as the letter is true and clearly heartfelt. 

Mr Livingstone's campaign has also come under attack from the Observer and the New Statesman not usually  known for attacking the Labour party. Mehdi Hasan saying in the New Statesman "you can’t run against Boris as the banker-bashing candidate but avoid your own income tax". 

Ken Livingstone is now under real pressure now. The stories just keep coming and Ken is in real trouble with the left as well as the right. Oona King who was defeated by Livingstone in the ballot to be Labour candidate for Mayor but it isn't to late for them to make the switch. Lady King would be allowed to stand for the role. 

Self styled Ken cheerleader, Shelly Asquith said on twitter "I've not heard this rumour, has it been invented by Tories?" The rumour has not been started by the Tories as Tory staffer Jack Hart pointed out "no. We're happy with Ken as the candidate, means Boris wins.." 

Oona King has denied all knowledge but if Labour want to stand a chance of winning they'd do worse than dumping Ken. Although Ken being so disloyal to the Labour party he'd probably stand as an Independent as he did in 2000. Most people recognise that Ken's main priority isn't a Labour Mayor but a Mayor called Ken!