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London mayoral rivals Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone clash on Tube strike


Rivals for the job of London Mayor clashed today over a planned strike by Tube workers amid fading hopes of averting the industrial action.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) who maintain and upgrade the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will walk out at 4pm tomorrow for 72 hours in a row over pensions.

The union said the action will disrupt services across the system, but LU denied this, maintaining there would not be any significant impact.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Londoners are under no illusion that these needless strikes have been called by Ken Livingstone's union boss supporters as part of his strategy to be re-elected."

Mr Johnson said that when Mr Livingstone was mayor, he promoted RMT leader Bob Crow to the board of Transport for London, adding there was a risk that if the Labour candidate wins next month's election, his union "cronies" will run London's transport.

Mr Livingstone said: "On Tuesday millions of Londoners are set to face disruption and delays because of a strike on the Tube. This strike is completely unnecessary and could be averted if only Boris Johnson took responsibility and met the transport unions to resolve this dispute.

"Under the Tory Mayor there have been more strikes in four years than the previous eight. It shows Boris Johnson's refusal to talk to the unions has meant huge inconvenience for London Tube users and hundreds of millions of lost revenue for the capital's businesses.

"It's not too late to stop this strike happening. It's time for a mayor who will get a grip and put the interests of Londoners first."