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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 March, 2005, 11:30 GMT
Bird flu 'more risk' than terror
Ken Livingstone on BBC1's Breakfast with Frost
Terror is a "bit worse than the threat we had during the IRA"
People living in the UK have more chance of dying of bird flu than being killed in a terror attack, according to Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone acknowledged there was a threat but said he did not believe there could be another September 11.

Speaking on BBC One's Breakfast With Frost programme he said he would have voted against new anti-terrorism laws.

He said he understood what the government was trying to do but did not trust the UK's security service.

"I have a bit of respect for the MI6 and the James Bond types but all my experience with MI5 is that they are so often wrong."

The danger comes from two or three disaffected men orchestrating something like a car bomb.
Ken Livingstone

Under the new law "control orders" would be introduced to curb the activities of suspected terrorists.

The control orders would range from tagging suspects to placing them under what is effectively house arrest.

When asked if the terrorist threat was exaggerated he said the threat was a "bit worse than the threat we had during the IRA".

Mr Livingstone said: "There is always a danger that we will fail and they (terrorists) will get through but the Al Qaeda structure has had a number of devastating blows.

'Nazi jibe'

"The danger comes from two or three disaffected men orchestrating something like a car bomb."

Agreeing with a comment made earlier in the programme by former health minister Edwina Currie he said: "We're more at risk from dying of bird flu than we are of being blown up by any terrorist."

The comment follows a recent warning from a microbiologist that poultry feathers being imported from China could carry the bird flu virus.

Mr Livingstone was also questioned on plans to extend the congestion charge, London's 2012 Olympic bid and the recent row over a so-called "Nazi jibe" made to a Jewish reporter.

Congestion charge zone
The congestion charge "wouldn't work London-wide".

When asked whether he should apologise over the comment made to journalist Oliver Finegold, likening him to a Nazi concentration camp guard, he said the row was not over an apology.

"I could have said sorry but I would not have believed it," he said.

"Oliver Finegold did not ask for an apology."

On plans to expand the congestion zone area in London Mr Livingstone said: "We would do it even if it wasn't going to make money because it's about reducing congestion."

But he added that he would not go beyond the proposal for the western extension.

"It's ideal for the city centre but wouldn't work London-wide," he added.

The London Mayor said he had no intention of returning to parliament and hoped his current job was his last because he "loved it so much".

"I intend to try and be re-elected in 2008," he said "But I would never go back into parliament, my focus is on delivering for London."

Q&A: Terror law row explained
12 Mar 05 |  Politics
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11 Mar 05 |  Politics



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