Evans doubles donation after Dobson jibe

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Indy Politics

Frank Dobson endured the ultimate "bad hair day" yesterday when disc jockey Chris Evans declared that he was doubling to £200,000 his donation to Ken Livingstone's campaign for London's mayoralty.

The broadcaster, dubbed "Ginger Whinger" by his critics, increased his contribution in retaliation for Mr Dobson's attack on the nation's red-haired citizens. Widening his attack from Red Ken to red-heads, Mr Dobson dismissed on Monday the news that Mr Evans was giving £100,000 to the Livingstone camp.

But he ensured an outraged reaction from Mr Evans when he added: "I am somewhat relieved really because my mum always told me to steer clear of redheads."

Critics said there were at least 250,000 redheads in London, but the Labour candidate laughed off claims that he could alienating a sizeable section of London's voters.

Mr Evans said on his breakfast show on Virgin Radio yesterday that he would contribute £200,000 to Mr Livingstone's funds - which makes him the biggest backer of the independent's campaign.

"What Frank Dobson said is very offensive to people with red hair. Kids growing up with red hair could be given a really tough time, especially if they have glasses," the DJ said. "It's an outrageous thing for a politician to say about a particular part of the population."

Mr Livingstone said: "I am delighted. At this rate Frank's gaffes will pay for my entire campaign fund." His campaign has so far raised only £20,000 of the £500,000 spending allowed for the May elections.