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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 09:50 GMT
Commons backs more powers for Ken
Ken Livingstone
Opposition MPs say the measures give away too much power
Proposals to hand more power to the Mayor of London have come a step closer following a vote by MPs.

The Greater London Authority Bill secured its third reading in the Commons by 285 votes to 194.

The measures will give the Mayor more powers in areas like planning and waste, health and housing.

The Bill will have to face scrutiny in the House of Lords - where it is expected to face stiff opposition - before it can become law.

The plans triggered strong criticism from Conservative and Lib Dem opposition MPs.

Thwart plans

Tory spokeswomen Jacqui Lait said: "We will continue to oppose the proposals in this Bill, fundamentally because they take power away from the boroughs and give them to the Mayor."

Opposition parties called for amendments to allow the Assembly to amend the Mayor's final draft budget by a simple majority rather than by a two-thirds majority.

But this was rejected by London Minister Jim Fitzpatrick who said the existing arrangements were entirely appropriate.

"As the budget is fundamental to delivery of the Mayor's priorities for London, it is important that the Assembly cannot readily amend the final draft budget simply to thwart the Mayor's wider plans," he insisted.


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