Mayoral candidates enter earnings race

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Indy Politics

London's three top mayoral candidates published details of their income and tax payments yesterday but the row over their personal finances looked set to continue.

Boris Johnson revealed he had earned £1.27m in his first three years as current Mayor of London – having criticised the Labour candidate, former mayor Ken Livingstone, for channelling his earnings from media work into a private company he set up with his wife to reduce his tax bills.

Mr Livingstone stated that he had paid £113,861 tax on his £342,041 "total income" in the three years up to April 2011 – including £23,730 corporation tax on dividends from the company.

However, Mr Livingstone said he would only agree to "full disclosure" of further details – including his full household income and how much his wife, who serves as his office manager, earned from his company – if the other main candidates also revealed their partners' financial positions.

Mr Johnson disclosed that he had paid £519,276 in income tax and national insurance in the past three years on earnings of £416,765, £388,315 and £473,280 – the bulk of it from freelance work in the media.

In 2007/8 he paid £44,142 income tax and nothing in corporation tax but by 2010/11 those figures switched to £22,691 in income tax and £11,970 in corporation tax.

Meanwhile ex-senior Scotland Yard officer Mr Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate whose income is mainly a £63,000 police pension, earned £344,146 in three years to that date and paid £100,693 in income tax.

The figures were made public after they agreed to publish the details during a fractious TV debate on Wednesday's BBC Newsnight.