Livingstone wins place on London Mayor shortlist

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Indy Politics

Leftwinger Ken Livingstone has made it onto the shortlist of potential Labour candidates for London Mayor, it emerged today.

Leftwinger Ken Livingstone has made it onto the shortlist of potential Labour candidates for London Mayor, it emerged today.

His success was confirmed by a statement released by one of his rivals, Frank Dobson.

The statement read: "I have stated from the start that I wanted Ken Livingstone on the shortlist so I could beat him fair and square.

"I made it clear - both in public and in private - that was the basis on which I would take part in the Labour selection.

"Now that Ken Livingstone's name is on the ballot paper, it is time to put the shambles of the last few days behind us."

Mr Dobson's statement was issued shortly after Mr Livingstone emerged from his second interview with the Labour selection panel drawing up the shortlist.

After four hours inside Labour HQ, Mr Livingstone insisted he had not been asked to give any undertakings about his stance on future financing of the London Tube system.

"I wasn't asked to give any undertaking about Railtrack or public-private partnership," he said.

"I gave a clear commitment I would accept the manifesto and even if I had reservations about it, I would campaign as Mayor on that manifesto."

Mr Livingstone said, on the thorny issue of Tube financing: "The party is now going to have an open, honest debate and I'm sure the whole party will accept the outcome.

"This is a Government that listens to people and it will listen to London."

Clive Soley, chairman of the selection panel, confirmed that Mr Dobson, Mr Livingstone and Glenda Jackson would form the mayoral shortlist.

He told a news conference: "I am delighted to be able to put before Labour's membership these three candidates. It has been a long process but we needed to be absolutely clear about the willingness of the candidates to stand on the party's programmes, policies and the London manifesto.

"All candidates have accepted that they have no veto over parts of the manifesto which is currently being drawn up. Nor can they insist on policies being included."

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