Accusations of stitch-up as Jackson quits mayoral race

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Indy Politics

Glenda Jackson will announce her withdrawal from the race for mayor of London today, leaving Frank Dobson to go head-to-head with Ken Livingstone in the battle to become Labour candidate for the post.

Glenda Jackson will announce her withdrawal from the race for mayor of London today, leaving Frank Dobson to go head-to-head with Ken Livingstone in the battle to become Labour candidate for the post.

Ms Jackson, who quit the Government this summer to run for the mayoralty, may be offered an international "ambassadorial" role or even a ministerial job in return for her decision to quit the contest.

Her withdrawal sets up the prospect of a straight fight between Mr Dobson and Mr Livingstone. In what left-wingers will see as yet another stitch- up by Downing Street, Ms Jackson has been offered the role as an international envoy in recognition of her loyalty to the Labour leadership. Sources suggested that she had even been offered a return to Government as Minister for London, although such a move seems highly unlikely.

The broadcaster Trevor Phillips and the Environment minister Nick Raynsford have already pulled out of the race.Mr Phillips confirmed yesterday that he will run on a joint ticket as Mr Dobson's deputy.

Ms Jackson is understood to have pulled out because of the NEC's ruling to run the contest using a three-part electoral college system. A survey by The Independent of MPs, MEPs and assembly candidates this week showed that Ms Jackson would get just three votes from its 75-member section.

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