Never mind the rest, here's McLaren for Mayor

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THE MAYOR of London race took a new twist when it emerged that Malcolm McLaren, godfather of punk, will run.

Today the man who created the Sex Pistols will launch his campaign with pledges to legalise brothels opposite the Houses of Parliament, decriminalise cannabis and introduce bars in libraries, for visitors to "drink a glass of Guinness while reading Dickens". With a manifesto that makes Ken Livingstone look like a Blairite clone, he also promises to scrap museum and gallery entry charges and provide adult education for pounds 1 a year.

Alan McGee, the Creation Records boss, who masterminded the rise of Oasis, will fund and manage the campaign leading up to the May election.

With Steven Norris portrayed as the Tories' very own sex pistol and Red Ken taking on the role of Labour's Sid Vicious, entry into the fray of the inventor of punk's safety-pins-and-bondage look may seem somewhat appropriate. In today's New Statesman he sets out his stall, promising electric tram routes, 24-hour licensing for pubs and restaurants and a lottery to help the homeless.

More exotically, he calls for Dixon of Dock Green holograms to provide public information and "pot shops" along the lines of those in Amsterdam. The brothels opposite the Commons would "help get rid of sleaze scandals".

Mr McLaren lambasted the "corporatisation" of the capital. "I have never seen so many restaurants, coffees shops, so many places to go to buy things, yet London has never seemed so dull. The cappuccino bar culture that Tony Blair raves about looks set to dominate the whole of central London's lifestyle."

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