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Saturday, October 30, 1999 Published at 03:18 GMT 04:18 UK

UK Politics

Short shrift for Livingstone

Ken Livingstone: "Determined to be mayor"

Cabinet minister Clare Short has condemned Ken Livingstone's efforts to become Labour's London mayoral candidate and thrown her weight behind Downing Street favourite Frank Dobson.

The international development secretary told BBC Radio 4's Any Quesions: "Ken's a cheeky chappie and we all like cheeky chappies, but we don't want cheeky chappies to run our capital city and play silly games with it.

"It would be a disaster for London if they did not select Frank. Frank must be the candidate and I am sure he will be."

[ image: Clare Short:
Clare Short: "We don't want cheeky chappies to run our capital city"
Ms Short's backing for the former health secretary follows Prime Minister Tony Blair's declaration of support.

Mr Blair said Mr Dobson "would do a good job on the policies that matter for the people of London".

Although the he did not name Mr Livingstone, a former leader of the GLC during the 1980s, the prime minister said he did not want to see a return to that era, when the party lost its way and became "a by-word for extremism".

In response, Mr Livingstone, who says he is determined to become mayor, welcomed Mr Blair's suggestion that the contest should concentrate on policies not personalities.

[ image: Frank Dobson: Labour leadership's choice]
Frank Dobson: Labour leadership's choice
He said: "I am the only Labour candidate standing on the platform that I will oppose passing control over any part of London Underground to Railtrack.

"That presents the London Labour party with a clear and honest choice."

Earlier this month former Labour leader Neil Kinnock accused Mr Livingstone of destroying the GLC and inventing the "loony left".

[ image: Glenda Jackson: Insists voters have a woman candidate]
Glenda Jackson: Insists voters have a woman candidate
The three Labour candidates for mayor are Mr Livingstone, Mr Dobson and Glenda Jackson. Trevor Phillips withdrew to become Frank Dobson's running mate and former minister Nick Raynsford also pulled out.

However Ms Jackson has insisted she will continue with her campaign, despite pressure from the party's leadership, so that Labour voters in London have the chance of a woman candidate.

The successful candidate will face Conservative selction Lord Archer and Liberal Democrat choice Susan Kramer when London finally goes to the polls.

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UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

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27 Oct 99 | UK Politics
Blair backs Dobson for mayor

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Ken Livingstone

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Frank Dobson

Trevor Phillips

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