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Losing Control
Monday February 21 2000
Reporter Vivian White
Producer Eamon Hardy

"I think I could win" Livingstone tells Panorama.

In his interview with Panorama, Ken Livingstone also warns of a "meltdown" in Labour's vote in London if the issue isn't resolved.

The former GLC leader and Brent East MP was speaking to the programme after losing out to Frank Dobson MP as Labour's candidate by 3% of the vote.

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Ken Livingstone MP
Mr Livingstone's disputes that result as "tainted" by the use of an electoral college rather than one member one vote. Questioned about the written assurances he gave to the Labour Party not to stand as an independent if he lost the Labour contest, Mr Livingstone said breaking his word would be "probably the worst thing I've done in public life".

Pressed by Vivian White that, if he runs electors will know that he is "untrustworthy, an opportunist and a liar" , Mr Livingstone concedes

"They'll be perfectly free to make that conclusion". He adds "I've given so many commitments I wouldn't leave, and to actually break those commitments would be an appalling thing to do."

Mr Livingstone also issued a stark warning of a "meltdown" in the Labour vote in London for New Labour if there is no compromise over his standing in the mayoral race.
You've got the sort of anger there has been in Wales, and if between No.10 and myself we can't find a way of sorting this out ... then I think we are going to be punished on May 4th at the ballot box really in a way that will make Wales look like a mild slap on the wrist. We could get the same sort of vote meltdown.

Ken Livingstone MP
"I don't think Frank is electable. He's indelibly stained as the stooge of Downing Street, and as we've seen in Wales, you can't escape Once you've got that albatross round your neck."

The programme examines the growing lobby for devolution in other regions, including an Assembly for the North West and a Mayor for Liverpool.

Derek Hatton
The former Militant Labour deputy leader of Liverpool council, Derek Hatton, now a DJ with Talk Sport radio, tells Panorama that he thinks Tony Blair is "mad" to go for devolution because he's creating local democracy that he'll be unable to control.

But on his own ambitions he says

"If ever, ever I was tempted to go back into politics, the one certain thing that would tempt you back in would be the possibility of being a directly elected mayor of somewhere like Liverpool where you would have the sort of control and the power that could make some difference"


Related links:
The Labour Party

Livingstone for London

Frank Dobson

Related News Stories

The Battle for London

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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ken Livingstone interview
WATCH CLIP: Vivan White questions Ken Livingstone about running as an independent candidate
Derek Hatton interveiw
WATCH CLIP: Derek Hatton on Blair and devolution

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