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Friday, 7 April, 2000, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Do London's candidates make the grade?

The deadline has passed for nominations for the election of London's first ever directly-elected mayor.

To date, the campaign has been dominated by Labour's internal row over its choice of candidate and, previous to that, the Conservative Party's own debacle following the resignation of its candidate Lord Archer.

But now all the candidates say that they will be able to concentrate on the politics and policy and give Londoners a chance to debate the issues.

What do you think? Are you impressed by the candidates who are standing to run the capital? Are they made of the right stuff needed to run a great city - or are they washed-up has-beens and over-ambitous egos?

Tell us your views. Do the candidates make the grade?

HAVE YOUR SAY



It is a shame Londoners have been presented with such a feeble bunch of candidates.

Colin Chambers, England
The job of Mayor of London is an important one and an exciting prospect, and therefore it is a shame Londoners have been presented with such a feeble bunch of candidates.
Colin Chambers, England

To view the contest as a 'normal' job application as Nick suggests is interesting. How many candidates in a job interview would the HR director take seriously if they spent the whole time insulting their opponents by repeating little soundbites. I'll be voting for Susan Kramer - she's the only candidate with a serious track record of fixing dilapidated tube systems.
Philip, England

I suggest that this media overkill ceases and spares the majority of the UK this constant navel gazing by London based organisations.
Joey Marin, Wales



This post doesn't need a party pooper - it needs a party animal.

Steve, Brit in USA
London should have an intelligent, honest, caring mayor with a track record for doing what needed to be done, and the insight to understand this new millennium. This post doesn't need a party pooper - it needs a party animal. Ken Livingston is the only real candidate. The rest are just jelly-babies picked out of the bag, some with their heads bitten off while others are all squashed and misshapen.
Steve, Brit in USA

It's interesting. These elections for a democratically elected mayor and assembly for Greater London have been described as being about democracy and political choice. However the media, and the BBC in particular, has used it's position again in a British election to marginalise the 'fringe' parties without giving them equal media coverage. The British National Party has again been the victim of political/electoral censorship. Where is the coverage for BNP mayoral candidate Michael Newland? Or the GLA election? It seems that policies are only granted publicity if they are acceptable to the 'politically correct' establishment.
Philip, U.K

If we get, Ken, London gets no money. Tony won't allow it. Let's face it, we're not going to get the Lib-Dem candidate. That leaves the colourful Norris, who can work with Blair, without being a labour party hack. I know which way I'm voting.
James McLeod, Brixton

He's no longer Red Ken, he's Green Ken! - And he gets my vote. Public transport is the big issue for Londoners, and Ken and the Greens are the only people with any real policies. What's the alternative? Tory Norris - we saw what his party did for Londoners - less than nothing for nearly 18 years! And New Labour seem intent on following the same failed Tory policies. A Green London assembly with Ken Livingstone as mayor could really start to sort out the traffic problems & provide decent train and bus services.
Peter, France

As for Adrian's and Jack Davies racist homophobic criteria for selecting their candidate, what about London's significant gay and ethnic population? I guess its ok if the candidate supports privilege for the same old white middle class males as always but London's strength is its sheer diversity and multi-culturism. Livingstone is the candidate that best reflects this.
Marc Dauncey, London, UK



I suggest that the candidates be allowed a trial run as Mayor of London, Ontario, Canada for a period of six months each.

Neil Aquino, Texas, USA
Since Mayor of London is such an important job, I suggest that the candidates be allowed a trial run as Mayor of London, Ontario, Canada for a period of six months each. After this test, London, England voters can make a more informed vote. Citizens of London, Ontario might be convinced to support this scheme if offered free tube passes for any tourist visits they make to the bigger London.
Neil Aquino, Texas, USA

I am traditionally a Labour voter. However, I feel let down by the main political parties and their offer of candidates. I recommend that people have a look at some of the other candidates, less publicised and visit their websites.
Gail, England

I support Ken in his bid to become Major of London. I am not happy with Labour's selection process, which ultimately results in a Tony Blair style "devolution", i.e. no devolution of power at all.
Michael Turner, England



London deserves a character for Mayor - someone whose personality embodies the vibrancy and radicalism of a conurbation of 10 million people.

Daniel Owen, London, UK
London is a world-class city - one of the great capitals of the world. It deserves a character for Mayor - someone whose personality embodies the vibrancy and radicalism of a conurbation of 10 million people. Ken is the voice for Londoners, and I look forward to an eventful few years with him as Mayor.
Daniel Owen, London, UK

It would be interesting to view the mayoral position as a normal job vacancy. Given freedom to apply do you think any 90's politician would win against any characteristic experienced market sector applicants? Independence and accountability HAVE to be incorporated to make the position a success.
Nick, London

I was going to vote for Ken, but I'm starting to remember what the GLC was like. The only candidate worth voting for is Norris.
James, London

After the rather farcical selection processes, the mind-bending voting system and the lack of clout the mayor will have, I think all non-Londoners can be rather pleased that they won't have a mayor.
Líam Pennington, UK



As a Labour voter I am very disappointed in the choice of candidate.

Rich Dailey, England
As a Londoner I feel my quality of life is depreciating. As a Labour voter I am very disappointed in the choice of candidate. Having just visited the British National Party website I would advise others to find out about other candidates standing for mayor and how the GLA will work.
Rich Dailey, England

I consider that the election for London mayor is going splendidly. The Conservative Party has the best candidate with which to boost their electoral chances at the next general election - Ken Livingstone. I support Ken all the way, along with newt keeping and resurrection of the GLC. Good luck Ken, you have my vote.
Julian Brown, Singapore

I think that the role of the mayor will grow in importance as he/she exercises their role. Londoners should be able to have faith in their mayor to do the best for London - that is why I'll be voting for Susan Kramer
Paul Bargery, London



The GLA is the same as Labours other devolution ideas.

Matt, UK
The GLA is the same as Labours other devolution ideas, they create a new body in a strongly Labour supporting area, then rig the candidate selection process to get someone who Tony Blair can easily control. All they are doing is trying to devolve power back to the Labour leadership so that if Labour loses a general election then they still hold a lot of power. That is not really as democratic as Tony Blair would have us believe! No wonder Ken got 70% of the votes in the selection process.
Matt, UK

Ken's financial disclosures show just how shallow a candidate he is. He seems to be more concerned about his own ego than what Londoner's really want, and his alliance with the hard left is particularly worrying. If he is to be voted in are we to expect fiddling of his budget and dubious links with terrorist organisations?
Charlotte, UK

As a Londoner, I am interested in who should become Mayor. Originally, I was going to vote for Ken Livingstone because Tony Blair ordered the rigging of the Labour party ballot. Now Ken is talking about legalising gay marriages and promising yet more money to help our growing 'ethnic' communities. So, come 4th May, I will be voting for Stephen Norris, more in protest than anything else.
Jack Davies, England



Overall, I'm extremely disappointed that the entire contest has been reduced to a shambles thanks to sleaze and political in-fighting.

TIB, UK
Well here's something to put a cat amongst the pigeons - I would be very disappointed to see Ken Livingstone running London. I'm a floating voter, with no attachment to either Labour or Conservative Parties, who would both like to see him fail. But the fact that he reneged on promises to Labour not to stand smacks of disloyalty and egotism, and his undeclared interests have tarnished his reputation as the sleaze-free choice. I think Steven Norris is the most charismatic choice, and charisma is something London's mayor will need bags of if the position is to prove effective in its own right. Norris is not a puppet of his own party, unlike Dobson, and would be the most credible candidate. But overall, I'm extremely disappointed that the entire contest has been reduced to a shambles thanks to sleaze and political in-fighting.
TIB, UK

The job appears to be that of figurehead, and rather a sinecure. That being so, it should go not to a Politician but to Prince Andrew.
David de Vere Webb, UK

To John from London: Just because the Tories do not have a black MP does not mean that the party is racist, and I will not vote for any politician who 'plays the race card' just to get votes off minorities!
Adrian, London

I'm not impressed with any of the candidates. Maybe now I can see why Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC. Maybe she should run for mayor.
Jeff, USA



I thought that TV and Radio where obliged to give all candidates in elections equal coverage.

Andrew, UK
Is the Lib Dem candidate, Susan Kramer, being persecuted by the media for concentrating on the issues affecting Londoners instead of indulging in personal attacks on the other candidates? I thought that TV and Radio where obliged to give all candidates in elections equal coverage.
Andrew, UK

If Livingstone is elected, we should all see the message in that. It will be that the voters reject the domination of the Mayoral election by political parties. They will be telling us that devolving the administration of London, if it means anything at all, is a local and not a national party issue. And if you listen carefully, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are saying the same thing.
Jon Livesey, USA

It's all just another example of the Americanisation of the English way of life. A presidential mayor has no place in the English parliamentary system. Leave it to the French and the Yanks: they've learnt to live with the resulting chaos.
David Baynes, Canada

The fact that Livingstone is the favourite shows what a farce he is. If Ken gets in, it will be "soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime"
Mark, Great Britain

If Ken or Frank become mayor the best thing Blair con do is ,to save tax payers money and wind the whole new GLC up!!
John Dower, UK



the row over the selection of both the Labour and Conservative candidates has been very bad for London.

Howard, UK
I think the row over the selection of both the Labour and Conservative candidates has been very bad for London. It's a pity because I think Frank Dobson would make a good mayor - he's shown over the years he has kept his principles and stood up for his constituency when needed. I think the Mayor will be good for the city in presenting its case internationally and although Londoners seem apathetic at the moment they will be pleased to finally have a voice.
Howard, UK

The mayor will be the focal point in the whole set up but has anyone looked really closely at some of the individuals putting themselves forward for the GLA? - that worries me more as they'll have a significant hand in the running of it all. Worrying indeed.
Karen, London

I'm pleased to see Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer fighting such a strong campaign. She didn't have any selection wrangles or scandals to get her cheap publicity. The transport issue is vitally important and she's the one with the answers.
Dan Rogerson, UK



Blair's worst nightmare is about to come true, mainly due to his and his party's ignorance and arrogance

VL, Scotland
Blair's worst nightmare is about to come true, mainly due to his and his party's ignorance and arrogance, and it is going to be really funny (at least for us not living in London). As for the candidates, they are all a bunch of wet blankets except maybe Livingstone who is just damp. Ken will walk it.
VL, Scotland

The only way to judge a candidate, is from the safety of hindsight. Could Livingstone Use hindsight to his advantage from his GLC days? I hope so. I only hope that the position of Mayor will noticeably change things in London, as I'm still waiting to see any change from when Blair's Labour were elected.
Chris, UK



I think the selection is a total farce

John, UK
I hope the media coverage will get better - I don't seem to have heard much from the Lib Dems, or from the Tories once they dumped Archer. Are their candidates being too boring? Or have the media decided that since it will automatically be between Livingstone and Dobson, no one else is worth bothering with unless they're being sleazy? Either the candidates aren't mentioning the issues, or the media isn't bothering to report them. Either way, the election has ended up as one that I have trouble seeing other cities in Britain rushing to emulate London. I'm also somewhat relieved that I don't live there.
Mike Fay, UK (not London)

I think the selection is a total farce. Here's my rundown of the main candidates: How about an independent, business-friendly candidate who has practical, workable ideas and isn't into appeasing anarchists. Vote for Nellie the Elephant!
John, UK

Not only have the media made this election a world-wide laughing stock, they have excluded other candidates, such as the Green Party candidate Darren Johnson, from nearly all their articles. How about some less biased reporting, showing all candidates in the same light?
Ian Harris, UK

More waste, more political lackies, more expenses, the gravy train just gained weight and for what? So Londoners can have more of a say - rubbish - just Labour divide and rule combined with a pathetic and blind adherence to the pitiful theory that more representation means better representation. Most Londoners are busy earning their salaries and enhancing their prosperity and that of their country - these waffling politicians are only the ones who feel the need to impede our progress and enforce their own meaningless ideals and values upon us.
James Denning, London, UK

The liberal candidate can be discounted straight away. She may have overseas banking experience but this hardly qualifies her for Mayor. The Conservative candidate is big on transport but little else. He is dogged by his party's image (hostility to removal of clause 28 and not a single black MP). The Labour candidate was chosen by only a minority of party members but is content to bumble on. This leaves Ken as the only credible Mayor. The number one priorities for Londoners are transport for whites and unemployment for blacks. Ken has the experience to tackle these and his policies on transport alone are designed to put more staff on the tubes and buses.
John, London, England

They're not up to much. But neither is the job. I'm voting for Malcolm.
Steve, UK



A charismatic business leader with a social policy would make a better Mayor

Duncan, UK
The London Mayor should be apolitical. The post demands that the individual is focussed on London and not on a wider political agenda. It is a sad indictment of the system that the only credible candidate is Ken Livingstone. He is not without fault and has a track record dotted with some bizarre ideas and initiatives. A charismatic business leader with a social policy would make a better Mayor. Richard Branson perhaps?
Duncan, UK

I'm glad my family moved away from London - given the choice available, I think I'd sooner vote for Dick Whittington's cat than any of those self-serving, two-faced individuals.
Jenni, UK

They are going to concentrate on the issues and policies? That will be a first.
Andrew Dowle, UK

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