Jackson refuses to quit mayor contest

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Glenda Jackson's campaign to be Mayor of London was mired in confusion last night after it emerged that she has promised Labour chiefs she will pull out of the race if Ken Livingstone looks like winning.

Glenda Jackson's campaign to be Mayor of London was mired in confusion last night after it emerged that she has promised Labour chiefs she will pull out of the race if Ken Livingstone looks like winning.

Ms Jackson surprised even her closest aides yesterday when she announced that she had no intention of withdrawing from the contest for the party's mayoral nomination.

However, The Independent has learned that the former transport minister has given an assurance to senior Labour figures that she will indeed drop out if polls show her candidacy would aid Mr Livingstone.

Despite her public protestations, the former Oscar-winning actress will stand aside if it looks as though she could split the "anti-Ken" vote and prevent Frank Dobson, Tony Blair's favoured choice for the job, from winning.

Ms Jackson was under intense pressure to pull out following the broadcaster Trevor Phillips' decision to withdraw and become Mr Dobson's running mate and candidate for Deputy Mayor.

But her statement, which followed strong indications from the Jackson camp itself that she would pull out and support Mr Dobson, surprised officials at the party's Millbank HQ.

"We still believe that if she felt she would prevent Frank from winning and let Ken in, she will stand down and back Frank. She will assess the situation over the next few weeks," a senior Labour source said last night.

Comments