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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Mayor cleared over party claims
London Mayor Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: "I told the truth"
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been cleared of misconduct over his account of his behaviour at a private party which left a man hospitalised after a 10-foot fall.

Mr Livingstone was accused of bringing his office into disrepute over what he told members of the London Assembly about claims that he pushed a man over a wall at a flat in Tufnell Park, north London, last June.

The matter was referred to the Standards Board for England by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats.

On Wednesday, the Board said no action needed to be taken against the mayor as "the Ethical Standards Officer had concluded on the balance of probabilities that the elected mayor's statements were not misleading or untrue".

After a year's investigation, involving hundreds of hours of inquiry by several inspectors, the report is a huge disappointment...
Evening Standard Editor Veronica Wadley

It also found he did not use his position to "secure an advantage for himself" or allowed "his office to be used to prepare and supply a misleading statement to the media".

The investigation followed a series of articles in the London Evening Standard which claimed he had manhandled his pregnant girlfriend Emma Beal after he thought she was smoking.

It also claimed that he pushed Robin Hedges over a stairwell at the late night party.

Mr Livingstone has always denied all of the allegations.

'Distressing' episode

The mayor reiterated on Wednesday that he had "told the truth throughout the whole process" and was "pleased that this investigation has now confirmed that".

"This episode has been extremely distressing and unpleasant but I am glad the matter is now closed."

But the Evening Standard said the inquiry had failed to establish what happened at the party and in particular how Mr Hedges came to fall.

In a statement, Editor Veronica Wadley, said: "All the Board's important statements are qualified by the phrase 'on the balance of probabilities'.

"After a year's investigation, involving hundreds of hours of inquiry by several inspectors, the report is a huge disappointment for everyone wanting to know whether Mr Livingstone improperly used his position as Mayor and brought his office into disrepute."




SEE ALSO:
Ken's confident showing
26 Jun 02  |  Politics
Beyond our Ken?
26 Jun 02  |  Politics
Livingstone statement in full
26 Jun 02  |  Politics
No complaint over Mayor 'scuffle'
25 Jun 02  |  England
Livingstone condemns newspaper
20 Jun 02  |  England


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