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.”

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 Stories from SNAP.PA

Claire Foy has said she found filming her Wolf Hall death scene emotional.

Read more

The BBC director-general has addressed listener worries about changes to The Archers, saying he hopes it doesn’t “lose what is precious”.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Can the public get to the bottom of those bright lights in the sky?

Fonejacker has nothing on these lot.

Flights are being cancelled, schools are being closed, and America’s northeast is getting prepared for a lot of snow.

Cinematic classics get a right-wing twist from Twitter. The results are thoroughly amusing.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:40
The wreckage of the car [Photograph by London Fire Brigade]

A van driver has been praised by firefighters today after he dragged a man out of a moving burning car.

Yesterday, 12:13
Anyone with information about the incident outside Goresbrook School is asked to call police on 02 3276 1090 quoting ref 5100841/15

An appeal has been launched to find a moped rider who kicked a cyclist off his bike in east London on Friday night.

Yesterday, 11:10
Josh Dorgu at his beloved Arsenal

A school community is in mourning after popular A level student Josh Dorgu collapsed and died in front of his shocked classmates.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.