Boris head-to-head with Ken—and 6 others—to be next London mayor
London will finally know this-morning who’s officially up against Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone in the battle for Mayor of London—although most of us already know.
The candidates who want to run City Hall for the next four years are being formally announced at 10.30am by London Elects, the body running the Mayor and London Assembly elections on May 3. But eight have already declared they’re running.
Boris is defending his corner for the Tories after trouncing Labour rival Ken last time by the narrowest of margins.
Ken is itching to grab back the powerbase he lost in 2008, having been Greater London’s first-ever elected mayor.
He launched London’s first two Congestion Charge zones and the original Olympics bid when he was mayor, while Boris scrapped the second zone almost as soon as he took office and now hopes to be the one playing host to the summer Games.
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But this is an eight-cornered octagonal election battleground, so far..
Ex-cop Brian Paddick is running for the Lib Dems—he came third behind Boris and Ken last time round.
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His claim to fame after 30 years in the Met is being Britain’s most senior openly-gay policeman who ruffled a few feathers by instructing officers in Brixton not bother busting anyone caught with cannabis. He quit the Force over the handling of the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting.
London Assembly member Jenny Jones is running for the Greens. She likes public transport, social justice and hammering the police on crowd control tactics like kettling.
Latin American-born Carlos Cortiglia, who migrated to Britain in 1989, is waving the flag for the BNP in opposing immigration. He wants to ‘reclaim’ parts of London for “indigenous Caucasians” and has compared the East End to Yugoslavia with “ghettos that have their own language, customs and values.”
The Territorial Army’s Lawrence Webb is waving the UKIP flag to get us out of Europe with its banking crisis and wants to scrap London’s Low Emission Zone which makes life harder for businesses that rely on dirty vehicles.
Two non-party independents have joined the race so far. Ex-police support officer and former teacher Femi Solola offers to improve public transport and help small businesses by persuading banks to lend more money at low interest. Siobhan Benita ditched a civil service job to bust the ‘cosy duopoly’ of Boris and Ken—and is running on a transport and urban renewal programme with promises to extend London Underground hours, freeze fares for two years and send a ‘hit squad’ to spruce up derelict buildings.
Any others in the running will be out of the bag at 10.30 this morning.
Meanwhile, London Elects is also publishing the party lists for candidates standing for the 11 London-wide seats on the Assembly. Those standing for the remaining 14 Constituency seats are being announced by local Returning officers.
Mayor and Assembly candidates have until midday on Monday if they change their mind and want to quit the race.