Livingstone will ban all lobbyists from Greater London Authority

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Indy Politics

Ken Livingstone will launch his manifesto for mayor of London today with a pledge to ban all contact between lobbyists and the Greater London Authority. The Brent East MP would bar political lobbyists from the GLA building and from meeting his staff.

Other policies in the 21-page manifesto, to be released on the internet at midday, will be a promise not to sell the Underground, an annual New York-style St Patrick's Day parade, a ban on all animal experiments in the capital and an orbital railway around the city.

A four-year fares freeze on the Tube and a commitment to sack any police officer who refuses to co-operate with racism or corruption investigations will also be included.

Mr Livingstone will promise "A New Style of Politics, A New Style of Governance" by setting up an appointments system based on merit rather than party allegiance.

As part of his "Red-Green" alliance with the Greens, who would probably provide his deputy mayor, Mr Livingstone will pledge targets for air, water and noise pollution and offer a dramatic increase in recycling.

The bar on lobbyists will form a centrepiece of Mr Livingstone's attempts to clean up politics and allow elected members to make decisions free of commercial interests.

As part of the emphasis on the "independent mayoralty", he will also promise not to bebound by the party whip and will call for an end to whipping by all parties in assembly proceedings. "I shall ask the elected members to take the same approach and put the interests of London first," his manifesto will say.

Freedom of information would also be a cornerstone of a Livingstone mayoralty. AGLA website would contain the minutes of cabinet meetings and, more controversially, details of all strategic planningapplications. An annual "state of London" internet debate would be held.