Letter: Mayoral spin

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The Independent Culture
Mayoral spin

Sir: Ken Livingstone "spins" with the best of them, when he alleges ("The truth about our spin doctors", 24 June) that I have explained the low turn-out in the London referendum as being caused by speculation about who would be the mayoral candidate.

I appreciate Ken would love to feel that the only thing that interests people is whether he will or will not be a candidate. I plead guilty to a desire that the debate on London's mayor should be focused on what policies are right for London and Londoners.

However, the real reason for the low turn-out in the referendum was that the "no" campaign was virtually non-existent and a "yes" vote was seen as a foregone conclusion. This was coupled with broad satisfaction with Tony Blair and his government. So there was no protest - unlike the local elections in 1994 and in 1990, when hundreds of thousands of people came out to record their votes against an unpopular Conservative national government.

Councillor TOBY HARRIS

Chair

Association of London Government

London SW1

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