Ken Livingstone rules out House of Lords peerage after London mayoral election defeat

10:44 08 May 2012

Labour

Labour's London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone (left) and Labour leader Ed Miliband. Photo: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Labour’s defeated London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone has ruled out a return to high-profile politics in the House of Lords.

Mr Livingstone lost last week’s race for City Hall to Tory incumbent Boris Johnson.

After the defeat he said it would be his last election.

Asked whether he would accept a peerage, the former Mayor of London told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Oh God, no, spare me that. I’ve been punished enough.”

Mr Livingstone claimed Labour leader Ed Miliband could be the next Prime Minister and “transform Britain in a way that we haven’t seen for a very long time”.

He said that, for the last 30 years, Britain had taken a “wrong turning”, adding Mr Miliband was now “getting the economic strategy right”.

Mr Livingstone said the current government had “got away” with claims that the last Labour administration had saddled the country with debt.

He said: “For 30 years, Britain has taken a wrong turning. Inequality of wealth has doubled. We were told if we deregulated, if we liberated the banks, the whole economy would rise and there would be a trickle-down effect.

“Sadly, Tony Blair bought into that, New Labour bought into that. I think we are at a turning point in politics now. We have to make something that somebody wants to buy, we won’t just be able to rip off a bit of commission on all the financial transactions.

“I think a lot of the disillusion amongst working-class people, whatever their colour, is that the last Labour government didn’t create good jobs for working-class people.”

Mr Livingstone added: “If I have one criticism of Ed Miliband - and as well as being a friend, I think he is genuinely a Labour leader who will transform Britain in a way that we haven’t seen for a very long time - (it) is that I think he is far too concerned about carrying the discredited old Blairite wing with him.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(Hannah McKay/PA Wire)

In his latest YouTube video and in the wake of Saturday’s anti-austerity march, Russell Brand has called on people to ‘love the police’ and protest in the streets for better pay, better overtime and better pensions. This, he claims, is a new form of activism called ‘situationism’ which creates ‘spectacles which are provocative and interesting’. You can watch his Trews video below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Anti-austerity protesters at the State Opening of Parliament (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Tens of thousands of people from all over the country are expected to demonstrate in London for the People’s Assembly ‘End Austerity Now’ protest on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
(Zac Goldsmith running for Mayor. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images)

Expelled Eton boy, environmentalist and Conservative rising star Zac Goldsmith has joined Sol Campbell in announcing he will run for the role of Mayor of London.

Monday, June 8, 2015
(Picture: Martin Rickett / PA Archive)

The star football player has told SunNation he will run for the role of London Mayor in 2016 and is “in it to win it”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more