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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 16:58 GMT
Mayoral hopefuls go head-to-head
City Hall
The mayoral election is scheduled for 1 May
The three main contenders in London's mayoral election have met for the first televised debate of the campaign.

Labour's sitting mayor Ken Livingstone, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick took part in London Talking for ITV One.

The programme, hosted by the Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, will be shown on ITV One on Thursday at 2305 GMT.

Mr Johnson and former police chief Mr Paddick said they offered voters the prospect of change.

'Clear choice'

However, Mr Livingstone talked of the successes of his eight years in the role.

"There's a clear choice in this election," he said.

"If you don't believe London has improved in the last eight years then you shouldn't vote for me."

I want kids in London to be less scared and I want adults in London to be less scared of kids
Boris Johnson

He continued: "There's still a long way to go, but as with New York under Giuliani, putting police back on the streets - and no politician over the last 30 years could persuade the police to get out of their cars and back on the street - has started to break the crime wave we've had for over a generation."

The candidates discussed issues affecting Londoners, including the congestion charge, public transport, affordable housing and youth crime.

Mr Johnson, questioning the mayor over the spate of recent violent teenage deaths, said: "I think it is overwhelmingly obvious that it is a time for Londoners to move on.

"I want kids in London to be less scared and I want adults in London to be less scared of kids."

Mr Paddick told the audience: "This is my city and it's a great city, but there are difficulties and there is unfairness that shame London, despite all the great things that have been achieved, and that has got to change, we need change."

Mr Johnson faced criticism over his links to convicted fraudster Darius Guppy, and disgraced media tycoon Conrad Black, which he deflected, calling for the discussion to focus on issues such as crime.

While Mr Paddick's speech and question-and-answer sessions were met with calm, both Mr Livingstone and Mr Johnson faced heckling and interruptions from members of the audience, and interruptions from each other.

Livingstone gets Muslim backing
03 Jan 08 |  London
Paddick Lib Dem mayoral hopeful
13 Nov 07 |  London
Johnson is Tory mayor candidate
27 Sep 07 |  UK Politics


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