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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 14:35 GMT
Mayor's warning on gender pay gap
Woman using computer
There are only two female chief executives in London
Closing the gender pay gap in London will not be achieved unless ministers introduce tough new laws, the Mayor of London has warned.

Ken Livingstone said there would be a serious impact on the future economic growth of the city unless action was taken later this year.

His warning came after he published a report showing women in London earned almost 25% less than men.

He said there was a disturbing lack of progress by companies to close the gap.

'Financial giants'

The report also showed the city had just two female chief executives and only 11% of female directors.

Ken Livingstone has failed dismally to address the issue in his eight years as Mayor
Brian Paddick, Lib Dem mayoral candidate

"It is unacceptable that women in London continue to be paid and valued less than their male counterparts," Mr Livingstone said.

The Lib Dem's mayoral candidate Brian Paddick criticised Mr Livingstone's comments as too little too late.

Mr Paddick said: "This pay gap isn't an anomaly, it is a disgrace.

"Ken Livingstone has failed dismally to address the issue in his eight years as mayor. I will make this one of my key priorities to address when I become mayor on 1 May," he added.

Sian Berry, Green Party mayoral candidate said Mr Livingstone was "on the right track" but insisted "...a bigger reason for London's huge pay gap is that the largely male upper echelons of the financial giants are awash with money, but pay their mostly female cleaners poverty wages."

The Conservative's Boris Johnson said equal pay was a "fundamental principle" to be strictly enforced.

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