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Saturday, 20 November, 1999, 05:10 GMT
Livingstone hits back
Ken Livingstone: On the shortlist

Ken Livingstone has accused Tony Blair of "dirty negative campaigning" in the battle to choose Labour's candidate for mayor of London.


It looks like he believes what he reads in the papers
Ken Livingstone
The MP for Brent East told the Daily Telegraph that the prime minister was stuck in the "politics of the Cold War".

Mr Blair has made no secret of his dislike of Mr Livingstone, describing him on Friday as a "fool" whose time at the Greater London Council had coincided with Labour's "lowest ebb" in the capital.

But Mr Livingstone said Mr Blair "had a completely distorted memory" of his time at the GLC and insisted he was a moderate, not an extremist as Mr Blair had described him.

"It's the politics of the Cold War when the world was at the edge of nuclear holocaust all the time," he said.

"Tony Blair says I'm extremist but he doesn't mention a single policy that I had that he disagrees with. The Tory press set this agenda of distortion and it looks like he believes what he reads in the papers."

He said he only disagreed with the government over the future of London Underground, which he believes should stay in the public sector.

Mr Livingstone, who was allowed on to the Labour shortlist after an acrimonious battle this week, also said he would offer rival candidate Glenda Jackson a job if he won the contest.

"She has been incredibly impressive recently and demonstrated an independence of mind," he said. "I would be over the moon to have her as my deputy."


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See also:
18 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone
18 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Watching the Ken circus
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
CV: Ken 'Red Ken' Livingstone

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