The flawed candidates for London mayor

Share
Related Topics

Whoever is elected to serve as London's mayor when the capital's residents vote on 10 June will enjoy one of the largest personal mandates of any politician in Europe. This is local politics that matters. Yesterday Ken Livingstone's campaign for a second term began in earnest, with the publication of his manifesto. He is ahead in the polls and his opponents look to be in difficulties.

Whoever is elected to serve as London's mayor when the capital's residents vote on 10 June will enjoy one of the largest personal mandates of any politician in Europe. This is local politics that matters. Yesterday Ken Livingstone's campaign for a second term began in earnest, with the publication of his manifesto. He is ahead in the polls and his opponents look to be in difficulties.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat candidate, has failed to bring his campaign to life. His best hope is to overtake Steven Norris, the Conservative candidate, and take his chances in a run-off with Mr Livingstone. If the Lib Dems have had a poor campaign, the Conservatives have a poor candidate. Mr Norris's role as a chairman of the rail maintenance firm Jarvis has ruined whatever credibility he might have had. A mayor with links to a troubled private transport contractor has a conflict of interest obvious to all - except Mr Norris, it seems.

In the four years since Mr Livingstone was elected we have seen the best and the worst of him as a politician. The introduction of the congestion charge last year was brave and he deserves credit. Some 70,000 fewer cars enter central London each year and the traffic problems have been eased slightly. But as a revenue-raising device it has fallen short of expectations. Similarly, although the mayor has boosted the number of buses, this has been achieved at enormous expense. Indeed the mayor's financial record should be a happy hunting ground for his opponents. His infantile opposition to the public private partnership with the London Underground cost £4m. This was not money well spent, only serving to delay improvements to the underground system.

Those Londoners who voted for Mr Livingstone four years ago must also decide if they are happy with the cynical deal that saw him return to the Labour party. It is a deal that reflects poorly on both him and his party.

The next mayor will not be short of challenges. These will range from whether to extend the congestion charge to making London look like a potential Olympic city for 2012. All of the main candidates have flaws - Londoners must now decide which of the three is best able to overcome them.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration Engineer

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Logistics and Supply Chain

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Sheet Metal Worker / Fabricator

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working within the workshop of ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The strangely parallel lives of Oliver Letwin and Ed Miliband

Matthew Norman
A Cafe Nero coffee store in central London  

Caffè Nero’s craven cowardice over badger culling has made me tear up my loyalty card

Jane Merrick
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral