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Monday, 20 March, 2000, 23:04 GMT
Livingstone apologises for rules breach
Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: One minute personal statement
Ken Livingstone has apologised to MPs for breaking Commons rules on registering his earnings.

London Mayor
Mr Livingstone, who is running as an independent in the race to become London's first elected mayor, was rebuked by a Commons committee last week for failing to declare more than 150,000 made from journalism and public speaking and paid into his firm.

In a one minute long personal statement in the House of Commons, the Brent East MP said: "In accordance with the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges I wish to apologise to the House for breaching the rules on registration of interest and for not observing the principle of openness which the code of conduct requires."

Mr Livingstone said that when he became an MP in 1987 he had checked whether income paid to his firm Localaction Ltd should be individually declared in the register of MPs' interests.

He said he had written to the Parliamentary commissioner for standards to clarify the position in 1996 following the introduction of a new code of practice for MPs.

He said: "My outside earnings then developed in such a way that my registered entry was no longer adequate.

"I ought to have made a comprehensive entry covering all the services I provide through Localaction, but I did not in fact do so."

Celebrity help

He said he amended the entry in the register as soon as he was alerted to the issue.

The apology came after it emerged that multi-millionaire Chris Evans is planning to donate 100,000 to Mr Livingstone's mayoral campaign.

Mr Evans is said to be annoyed by the Labour Party's selection process for a mayoral candidate, which he believes was weighted in favour of former health secretary Frank Dobson.

Chris Evans
Chris Evans: Donation to Livingstone campaign
The DJ and television presenter - who was joined on his TV show TFI Friday by Mr Livingstone two weeks ago - is also said to believe that Mr Dobson, the official Labour candidate, is not a "leader".

Mr Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party within hours of announcing he was standing as an independent candidate earlier this month.

He has appealed to the public for 500,000 to fund his campaign.

Mr Evans joins a host of showbusiness stars, including Blur lead singer Damon Albarn and comedienne Jo Brand, supporting Mr Livingstone, the MP for Brent East.

Actor Neil Pearson is said to be acting as an unofficial fund-raiser.

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See also:

15 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Livingstone 'breached Commons rules'
20 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Sweetness and light at mayoral debate
06 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Ken Livingstone: Rebel with a cause
06 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Livingstone to run for mayor
26 Nov 99 | UK Politics
Pollling all the way to the ballot box
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