Livingstone launches into cyberspace

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The Independent Online
KEN LIVINGSTONE in virtual reality may be Tony Blair's worst nightmare, but the left-wing rebel with a cause is busy constructing his own website on the Internet.

Callers at the website from Britain and abroad can see a mugshot of Livingstone, catch up on his latest speeches and even drop in on his favourite restaurant.

The Labour MP, who is running for Mayor of London against the wishes of the Labour leadership, said: "You could grow old reading it - there's so much on it."

The website for the former GLC leader, who is proving a thorn in Mr Blair's side, has links to other left-wingers, including John McAllion, Labour MP for Dundee East, and the MEP Alex Falconer, leader of the socialist campaign for Scotland.

Ken's London page, carrying the latest on his campaign for mayor, is still under construction. Simon Fletcher, the MP's Parliamentary researcher, denied he was following in the slipstream of his Tory arch-rival, Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, who also has a website for his campaign to become London's first elected mayor.

"I have not seen Jeffrey Archer's website, but this one is more to do with people who cannot get access to the left-wing press - they will be able to get all of Ken's articles for Tribune. They can also access his articles for The Independent and his weekly London Evening Standard restaurant column. It's not a response to Jeffrey Archer," said Mr Fletcher.

The Livingstone website carries his manifesto for mayor, and links to his local favourite restaurant, the Sabras, an Indian eaterie in Willesden, north London, with details of constituency surgeries and how constituents can e-mail him.

There is a worse prospect in store for Mr Blair. Once funds allow, Livingstone is hoping to have sound on his website, so that no matter how much the leadership tries to gag him he will be able to speak out from cyberspace.

The Livingstone website address is: