London Mayor: Unholy alliance begins a `Dirty War' to defeat `terrorist-friendly' Livingstone

A FORETASTE of the campaign to undermine, discredit and eventually crush Ken Livingstone emerged yesterday with savage attacks from both Labour and the Tories.

Last night's delays over whether to include Mr Livingstone on the mayoral shortlist have put on hold Downing Street's plans to attack his record, but the likely tone of the attacks became clear. Day one of the "Dirty War", as some Labour insiders have called it, was marked by the Tory party issuing a memo urging all its MPs to describe Mr Livingstone as "terrorist- friendly".

In a move that upstaged Millbank's attempts to assassinate his character, the bulletin from the Tory research department gives detailed advice on attacking the man who once led the Greater London Council.

The memo, titled The Line to Take - Red Ken, includes sections on "Livingstone the extremist" and attacks policies he has floated such as an airport tax and a pounds 7.50 congestion charge for motorists. "The election of Livingstone would mean an unwelcome return of the Loony Left, terrorist-friendly, tax-and-spend, socialist policies of the old GLC."

The advice from Conservative Central Office contrasts with the stance of its candidate, Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, who only last month ruled out using personalised negative campaigning.

Labour's attempts to erode support for the Brent East MP started even before the London selection board began its interviews yesterday with the four candidates hoping to become the party's choice for Britain's first directly elected mayor.

Lord McIntosh, who was ousted as leader of the GLC by Mr Livingstone in 1981, led the charge on BBC Radio's Today programme, accusing him of disloyalty to New Labour. Lord McIntosh also claimed the MP had been offered and turned down a ministerial job. The allegation was dismissed by the Livingstone camp as "pure fiction". Tony Blair, who has given public backing for Frank Dobson, was expected to lead the charge against Mr Livingstone in an article this week in the Evening Standard.

In a high-risk strategy that could backfire if the backbencher does win the contest, Mr Blair will portray the battle as one between Old and New Labour. The article is the first shot in a concerted Downing Street campaign, and will be followed by similar comments from Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, and most of the Cabinet over the next few weeks. Ministers will portray Mr Livingstone as the embodiment of the "Loony Left" years of the 1980s.

With most unions backing Mr Livingstone and MPs backing Mr Dobson, the party's electoral college will be decided by the members in the capital. It is estimated that Mr Livingstone needs to win the backing of at least 70 per cent of the membership to have a chance of winning.

Although the party is supposed to remain impartial in the contest, the full might of Labour's Millbank machine will be directed against the former GLC leader. Official rules prevent any candidate from "attacking or denigrating" their rivals, but the Dobson camp believes that this does not rule out clashes over their policies or record in government.

When Mr Dobson launches his manifesto tomorrow, it is expected that he will be supported by at least 20 ministers. But Mr Livingstone will do his best to counter what it calls the "propaganda" against him.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

**Primary Teachers Needed Urgently in Southport**

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Nursery Assistant/Nurse all cheshire areas

£7 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are a large and successful recrui...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London