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 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