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banner Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Greens hope for deputy mayor

Darren Johnson launches his party's manifesto
Londoners could have a Green deputy mayor if Ken Livingstone wins the 4 May poll, according to the party's mayoral candidate Darren Johnson.

Green manifesto
Congestion charging in central London
Tax on company parking spaces
Setting up car free zones
Against Tube privatisation
Reducing speed limit from 30 - 20 mph
Mr Johnson admitted that he had had no direct conversations on the issue with the Brent East MP but he said it was definitely a "possibility".

Although standing as his party's candidate for mayor, Mr Johnson has already acknowledged that he does not expect to win the post - but is confident of taking one of the 25 seats in the new London assembly as he heads the Green's top up list.

Mr Livingstone was expelled from the Labour Party earlier this week after officially registering nomination as an independent candidate for mayor against Labour's official candidate Frank Dobson.

We must remember this is not middle England, this is radical London.

Darren Johnson
Speaking at the Westminster launch of the Green manifesto for London, Mr Johnson said taking the assembly's top job was a "possibility".

"There has seriously been a lot of discussion about that in the media - what I will say though is that with the Greens getting elected to the assembly we are looking to maximise our political influence and make sure London has a strong green voice.

"And if deputy mayorship does give us a chance to implement Green policies and to have some real influence in London then that is something we are really interested in."

Whether Mr Livingstone will look for Green support is unclear.

But as he has no party of candidates running for election with him he will need some allies in the assembly to ensure his policies for London could be implemented should he win next month's ballot.

'A radical London'

Turning the to party's key policies, Mr Johnson said that up to a 1bn could be raised through congestion charging and a levy on parking places for company cars.

He made no apologies for the proposed 5 a day charge which he acknowledged "is going to have some impact on the motorists".

"The five pounds a day charge will be in place as soon as is practical and if our traffic reduction targets are not on course then we want to see the congestion charge increase."

Mr Johnson added: "That money can go straight back into improving public transport and getting our speed limits down and improving our buses.

"Around 50% of households don't have access to cars.

"They are the hardest hit when fares rise, they are the hardest hit when new out of town shopping centres spring up miles away from home and close down local shops.

"We must remember this is not middle England, this is radical London and people are wanting some really radical measures, the situation has got too bad to wait much longer."

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See also:

04 Apr 00 | London Mayor
Norris predicts Dobson humiliation
04 Apr 00 | London Mayor
'Dirty campaign' claim in loan probe
04 Apr 00 | London Mayor
Candidates battle over transport
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