UK & World News
Ken Livingstone: I've Fought My Last Election
So Ken Livingstone has fought his last election. What now for the defeated 66-year-old newt-fancier?
Even though he almost pulled off a shock victory over Boris Johnson this time, Mr Livingstone has ruled out having another crack at getting his old job back at London's City Hall.
Many Labour MPs on the Blairite wing of the party were critical of the leadership for allowing him to stand again as Labour candidate, as he did in 2004 and 2008.
He became the party's candidate on the day before Ed Miliband was elected leader in September 2010. So Mr Miliband was virtually powerless to dump him.
There are claims - denied by his campaign chief Tessa Jowell on Sky News as the votes were being counted - that Mr Livingstone blackmailed the party by threatening to stand as an independent if he was not chosen.
Remember, he was an independent when he won in 2000, defeating Labour's Frank Dobson and humiliating Tony Blair.
Could a different candidate have done better this time and defeated Mr Johnson, repeating the success of Labour candidates in local governments across the country, and in Scotland and Wales?
Possibly, although there wasn't exactly a queue of well-qualified or popular Labour MPs who wanted to stand for mayor.
The dynamic of London's mayoral election has always been a case of personality over politics, more than on the national stage.
A few months ago, Labour MPs were predicting a bloody inquest after these elections, with knives out for Mr Miliband. That probably won't happen now, because of the good results the party has had in the UK as a whole.
A Livingstone win would have been a huge morale boost for Labour and allowed Mr Miliband to claim he's on the way to a General Election victory.
He can't say that now and these results, while good, are not as good as Mr Blair achieved as leader of the opposition in the mid-1990s before the Labour landslide of 1997.
Despite the close result in London, there will inevitably be those ready to write Mr Livingstone's political obituary now.
He has been one of Britain's most famous and controversial politicians for more than 30 years. As left-wing leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) he annoyed Margaret Thatcher so much that she abolished the GLC.
He became MP for Brent East, but failed to shine in Parliament, largely because he was shunned and loathed by most of his fellow Labour MPs, with the exception of close friends and fellow left-wingers like Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Despite claiming he wouldn't challenge the official Labour candidate as an independent, he did just that and then won a second time after being re-admitted to the party.
His legacy to Londoners is the congestion charge, which he introduced in the face of opposition from the Blair government, and his bendy buses have been taken off the road by his Tory successor.
Mr Johnson's most visible legacy is the "Boris bikes" now seen all over the capital, which Mr Livingstone claims were his idea!
For the Tories, Mr Johnson has come to the rescue of David Cameron after the Conservatives got a thumping from Labour in town halls outside the capital.
But while Mr Cameron will be relieved that the Conservatives at last have a victory to cheer, there will be fears in the Tory high command that Boris is now a serious rival for the party leadership. George Osborne, in particular, will be worried.
It's already being claimed that Mr Johnson plans to stand as an MP in the 2015 General Election, overlapping the last year of his four-year term at City Hall.
That news will delight his supporters, of whom there are a growing number among Conservative MPs.
So as well as being relieved, Mr Cameron will also be wary. He knows that the Tory party needs Mr Johnson.
But he will be concerned that some of his MPs believe the party needs Mr Johnson - and not Mr Cameron - as its leader.
what do you think?
Thank God some good news at last. Be even better if Liverpool win today.
I'm with you on the Liverpool comment, and shouldn't support Boris, as i'm a Labour supporter, but Ken went his own way a long time ago, and god knows what he stands for. I suspect he just stands for Kens retirement fund.I'm from Liverpool, and looking forward to seeing some silver in the cabinet again, instead of all those idiots in the cabinet. Ooops crossed wires again.
Liverpool won yesteday, Labour council, Labour mayor.
johnmstg , whether that result bears fruit, remains to be seen. Why the hell we need a mayor, god knows.
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Chelsea DID win! Still, one out of two isn't bad.
Ken was only in it for his own benefit, not for the people of London. I don't think Boris knows what day it is, but he's likeable, unlike the rest of the toads in the Tory party. As a Tory leader , he would do better than Camoron, just based on personality alone.Let's face it, Tories only have one policy, and that's to decimate the working class and all connections to it. If Boris was put up against Osbourne, it would be bye bye osbourne. I'm saying this as a labour supporter, i wonder what the Tories think.
Sorry we are all middle class now, working class no longer exist thats even an admission by the labour party as well.
Just shows their is Too many Blairites in the Labour Party let them cross the floor of the commons to the other losers Lib-Dems let us replace them with real people like Dennis Skinner honest with real concern for his constituents and country.
As for Ken Livingstone he is past his sell by date the tax scandal was his down fall (closet Tory).
I for one am glad Ken has finally called it a day! However I will say one thing for him, he was like Marmite, and always made comments to make you react. Cant say that about the rest of the candidates!
Thank God for the return of Boris. I am constantly dismayed by the lack of our population to 'see through' the scurulous personalities such as Livingstone, Blair, Murdoch et al. Livingstone should be referred to as a dodgy geezer with a legacy of question marks about his conduct in office. eg Jobs to friends / spurious accounting / failure to keep promises and on and on. I am over the moon he has failed, and by the way I am providing this comment as a non-political animal. Forget the colours of the rosettes, I am merely referring to the integrity of the candidates (or in Ken's case - he does not have any integrity). Finally, Ken will be back in politics in some or another within 18 months, which will confirm my comments. He says he is finished with politics, but who believes him. Good riddance. You are were a disaster, and nearly as bad as Blair bloke and Brown bloke (add in Micheal Howard for good meaure)
I have seen Graham Lightfoot's comment which is excellent. Ken was only in it for the benefit for himself and his mates via commerical contracts and distribution of the London budget. At least Boris cares about others.
oh dear we wont be seeing this tired slug lover at the olympic ceremony waving at his friend chavez and bleating like a lost sheep his moment of glory has been taken away by who yes himself like hes going to feel any pain from recession i saw his lies i saw his two faces
Boris as Prime Minister, hmmm, who knows. As aa aa commented below he is likeable, unlike most of the politicians today, so it's possible. I think Cameron needs to be looking over his shoulder now.
Two bumbling baffoons go head to head young one wins,still got a bumbling baffoon for the mayor of London.It is a hollow victory.