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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 11:01 GMT
Kinnock blasts Livingstone return
Ken Livingstone
Mr Livingstone was expelled for running as an independent in 2000
Ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock remains "fundamentally and irretrievably" against Ken Livingstone being allowed back into the Labour Party.

Mr Kinnock told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the London mayor could not be trusted to uphold the party's aims.

Labour's ruling board is expected to decide this week whether to readmit Mr Livingstone to the party early.

He was expelled for five years for running against Labour in the 2000 mayoral poll.

Mr Kinnock, now the vice-president of the European Commission, said: "I am fundamentally and irretrievably against it. Ken Livingstone has only ever belonged to one party - the Ken Livingstone party.

"There is no possibility, whatever his immediate future, of the Labour Party being able to rely upon sufficient loyalty and commitment to its aims and obligations."

Prime Minister Tony Blair is thought to want Mr Livingstone back amid fears that Labour's official candidate, Nicky Gavron, could be pushed into fourth place in next year's election.

Gavron's hint

As well as Mr Kinnock, Chancellor Gordon Brown and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott are believed to be opposed to the move.

The issue expected to be discussed at a meeting Labour's London regional board on Monday evening.

Labour's National Executive Committee is meeting on Tuesday.

Neil Kinnock
Kinnock: Opposes readmission
The party's current candidate for the London mayoral elections Nicky Gavron said last week the best option was for her and Ken Livingstone's campaigns to be combined.

She said: "During the last few months I have listened intently to the views and concerns of party members and supporters at every level.

"My absolute priority is to reunite the Labour vote in London.

"The best way to achieve this unity is to combine the existing strengths of both our campaigns and for Ken Livingstone and myself to work together for the good of Labour and London."

Livingstone awaits Labour verdict
11 Dec 03  |  Politics
Mayor cleared over party claims
23 Jul 03  |  London
Profile: Ken Livingstone
09 May 03  |  Politics

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