London Elections: Ken Livingstone announces the end of political career

00:55 05 May 2012

Ken Livingstone brought down the curtain on his life in politics in London, tonight.

Labour’s two-time former Mayor was beaten by Conservative Boris Johnson for the second time.

Speaking at City Hall, Mr Livingstone said: “This is my last election.

“Forty one years ago almost to the day I won my first election on a manifesto build good council housing and introduce free bus passes to pensioners.

“Since then I have won 11 more elections and lost three but the one I most regret losing is this.”

Livingstone said London faced grave problems ahead in the coming years.

“These are the worst times for 80 years and London has needed a mayor to help them get through fare cuts and energy price rises.

“I am sincerely sorry for those Londoners who wanted us to win that I failed to do this and they will continue to bear the pain of this recession without help from City Hall.”

The election had sunk into a personality contest between Mr Johnson and himself, obscuring the real matters at stake - Mr Livingstone claimed.

“I think democracy is undermined when papers are filled with trivia and not real issues and I wonder whether the negativity and smears played part in Birmingham and Manchester’s rejection of a mayor for their cities.”

He insisted his party had the right answers to solve stubborn problems like the economy.

“Labour will win the debate on how to build an economy that works.

“Today’s teenagers are the first generation of English men and women who face worse prospects than their parents.

“This is because of the aggressive free market policies that the Tories introduced 30 years ago.

“London is the most amazing city but our children must find jobs and homes in it.

“The gains Labour has made today are along the way to achieving that.”

A mischievous stab at the Conservative leader David Cameron was made - who watched his party handed a pounding by voters in elections around the country.

“I want to congratulate Boris on his success. Not only have you become Mayor again but this has stopped the quest for the next Tory leader,” he said.

“I don’t know if the Prime Minister is still watching, but I hope the closeness didn’t give him indigestion over dinner - because the real story is we have won all over the country.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

We give our verdicts on the outfits that graced the red carpet.

Read more

Is Downton Abbey just a soap opera hiding under all that pomposity?

Read more

Know what lurks in the deep off our coast…

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:56
Arnis Zalkalns was seen riding his bike along the towpath where Alice was last spotted

Police hunting for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross and Arnis Zalkalns have found the suspect’s bike.

Yesterday, 15:17
The teenagers were found guilty at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A boy has been found guilty of raping a teenager in a Willesden alleyway in punishment for spreading rumours about his sister.

Yesterday, 11:26
The baby was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier dog like this one [Photograph by Gemma Longman]

A baby suffered a terrifying ordeal when a dog ripped part of her nose off.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Wed, 14:16
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more