Ken Livingstone: We Ask The Questions

Such as, 'How will you cut crime?' and 'What is your favourite joke'
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Indy Politics

Why do you want to be Mayor of London?

I want to finish the things we've started in this term – get the Olympics delivered, build the new rail lines such as the East London Line Extension. And of course I want to save London from Tory barbarism.

What is the best thing about London, and what is the worst thing?

The best thing is the people, by far.

What single achievement are you most proud of in your life?

Helping London to hold together and respond to the 7 July bombings.

What is your favourite thing to do in London during your day off?

I like to spend time in the garden – there's always something to do and it helps me think.

What difference will you make?

I will build 50,000 affordable homes, take real action on climate change, and reduce crime through neighbourhood policing.

What will you do to improve the transport infrastructure?

I will continue to improve bus services, modernise the Tube, build Crossrail and improve London rail services. I will introduce the biggest fleet of "hybrid" buses anywhere in the world.

What will you do for cyclists and pedestrians?

We will have new 'super cycleways', a central London bike hire scheme and safe cycle zones, plus more pedestrian improvements such as safe zones around schools.

Are falling house prices good or bad news for Londoners?

Almost regardless of the national housing market we have had a persistent problem in London – too few affordable homes have been built. I've increased the total number of new homes being built to 33,000 last year, up from 17,000 in 1999, and set the policy that 50 per cent of all new homes should be affordable. An extra 50,000 new affordable homes to rent and buy will be built over the next three years.

Where will you focus your efforts to cut crime?

The key to cutting crime and making people feel safer is more visible policing and better opportunities for Londoners. I will recruit an extra 1,000 police, and put an extra £79m into better youth clubs to give young people safer places to go.

How would you ensure greater ethnic harmony in London?

While racially motivated incidents have risen outside London they are down by over half here. We're doing this by taking racism on and promoting good community relations.

What will you do to ensure London retains its dominance of the world's financial markets in these difficult economic times?

London must remain the most open international city in the world and continue with investments such as Crossrail. The success of Asian competitors has happened because they invested for the long term.

What is your favourite joke?

Have you heard the one about Boris Johnson becoming Mayor? It's not funny.