Livingstone jab at Mayor's double duty

  • @andymcsmith

Ken Livingstone, Labour's candidate in the London mayoral election, will call at Downing Street today to hand in a letter to David Cameron promising that if elected, he will make being Mayor a full time job.

He will also pledge to try to get legislation through that would make it illegal for the Mayor to take on other paid work. The letter is a deliberate dig at the incumbent Mayor, Boris Johnson, who supplements his £143,911 salary by writing a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph, for which he is paid £250,000 – a sum he once called "chicken feed."

Mr Livingstone said: "One clear way to restore faith in politics in London is to tighten up the framework for the Mayor's role so that it is clear that the Mayor only ever has one employer."

But Mr Livingstone's own finances were under fire yesterday because of a revelation that when he left office in 2008, he arranged for his earnings to be paid in a private company.

"Ken Livingstone has attacked tax avoiders as 'rich bastards', but... he has avoided at least £50,000 in tax," the Tory MP Priti Patel said.