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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Labour expels Livingstone
ken livingstone
Ken Livingstone: End of Labour career?
Ken Livingstone is being deemed by Labour to have expelled himself from the party after officially putting his name forward as an independent candidate for London mayor.

London Mayor
The Brent East MP will be receiving a letter this week informing him that he is to be expelled from the party for at least five years.

But Mr Livingstone has shrugged off expulsion as a "trial separation".

Nominations have now closed for the 4 May election although the full list of contenders will not be officially announced until Wednesday when all checks have been completed.

I would feel sadder if I thought it was a permanent divorce. I just think it is a trial separation.

Ken Livingstone
Mr Livingstone said he believed his expulsion from Labour would only be a temporary measure.

"I expect I will be back soon," said the MP.

"Once we have had the election and put all of this behind us, the party will want to work together to make sure London government functions properly.

"I would feel sadder if I thought it was a permanent divorce. I just think it is a trial separation and hopefully, it won't last more than another four or five weeks."

Earlier the running mate of the official Labour candidate Frank Dobson, said the party would be prepared to reach an "accommodation" with Mr Livingstone if he became mayor.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour, Trevor Phillips said: "Were Ken Livingstone to become mayor, he would have to do quite a lot to satisfy a powerful Labour group that he is responsible, that he knows what he's doing and that he's somebody we could work with.


London elections
Voters go to polls on 4 May
Each voter gets two ballot papers - one for the assembly and one for mayor
Mayoral candidates pay 10,000 deposit and collect 330 signatures (10 from each London borough)
Lose deposit if fail to obtain 5% of the vote
Mayoral candidates may only spend 420,000 on campaign
"If he gets elected and he finds that we are there holding him by the throat over the budget, then he may decide that he's going to have to eat his words. He will have to work with us."

But Mr Dobson has sought to play down the comments, saying Mr Phillips had been responding to "hypothetical questions".

He told BBC News Online on Monday: "I am going to win, and Trevor Phillips is going to work as my deputy."

Mr Dobson was launching a fresh effort to spur his own campaign with posters bearing the slogan: "Frank and to the point".

And he attacked Mr Livingstone's campaign, accusing him of "either failing to discuss the issues or reidentifying policies that could cost Londoners a fortune."

Banned from meetings

Under Labour's rules, Mr Livingstone will not be considered for readmittance for five years - and speculation the rule may be relaxed after the May election has been dismissed as "rubbish" by the party.

Mr Livingstone's name will be removed from the national membership register and he is no longer permitted to attend meetings of his local party.

Any Labour members who have signed Mr Livingstone's nomination papers could also be expelled from the party.

But the MP has tried to avoid any immediate victims, with only a handful of the 330 people who signed his papers thought to be party members.

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See also:

03 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Pig stands for London mayor
03 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Dobson warns tube bosses
29 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Police chief attacks Livingstone
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