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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Mayor Ken chooses team
Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: First full day at at the office
New London mayor Ken Livingstone has started building his new administration by offering a number of key positions to members of the Greater London Assembly.

He has asked Labour's Nicky Gavron, who was chosen as GLA member for Enfield and Haringey, to be his deputy for the first year of his administration.

The post of chairman of the police committee was offered to Labour member Lord Harris, who represents Brent and Harrow, while Liberal Democrat member Lord Tope has been asked to head the fire and civil defence committee.

I will be asking all the four political groups to nominate a member to be included in my Cabinet so that all opinions will be heard

Ken Livingstone
As yet, none of those offered a position has accepted it.

Green Party assembly member Darren Johnson has also, as had been expected, been offered the environment brief.

Mr Livingstone said he had already held meetings with the Liberal Democrats and Conservative groups and would be meeting the Labour group on Monday.

Posts for rivals

"I have made it clear I will be asking all the four political groups to nominate a member to be included in my Cabinet so that all opinions will be heard," he said.

Speaking outside the GLA's headquarters in central London Mr Livingstone said he was also "very hopeful" that he would be able to bring all three of his main opponents in the mayoral contest into his administration.

He wants Labour's Frank Dobson to tackle poverty in London and Conservative candidate Stephen Norris and Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer to take over a brief on transport for London.

Mr Livingstone described an earlier telephone conversation with Prime Minister Tony Blair as "very pleasant".

frank dobson
Frank Dobson: To be offered a job tackling London's poverty
It was the first time the pair had spoken since the mayoral election campaign in which the prime minister described Mr Livingstone as "a disaster for London".

"A whole range of issues were discussed including how the government and the mayor can work to keep car production at Ford," Mr Livingstone said.

"The conversation was also about the mayor and the government and we are very keen to make this work."

Mr Livingstone said the prime minister said he would be delighted to see the Labour Party and assembly members working in his administration.

Rejoining Labour

He said he also asked Mr Blair for more money for London and discussed the government's planned public private partnership for the Tube.

The left-wing MP - who stood in the election against former Labour health secretary, Frank Dobson - revealed that he also brought up the subject of rejoining the Labour party.

Tony Blair: Shared a pleasant chat with Mr Livingstone
"I told him that I would like to rejoin the Labour Party but I did not want to embarrass him by making an immediate application now. We agreed that we would talk about that some time later in the year," he said.

Last week Mr Livingstone revealed in an interview with BBC News Online that he expected to be back in the Labour fold by the end of this year.

Meeting with Prescott due

On Saturday he said he had already been in contact with ministers in a bid to co-ordinate his policies with the government on issues facing London.

A face-to-face meeting between the new mayor and Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who also heads the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions, is expected later next week.

The mayor's office - expected to be the driving force of GLA policy - will oversee a 3.3bn budget and assume responsibility for the police, transportation, fire and emergency services.

Mr Livingstone will have a chief of staff, senior advisers and his own policy units covering all areas.

He can also form a cabinet, and will appoint assembly members to a range of London-wide authorities and boards.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ken Livingstone
"It will be an administration which reflects all the parties"
The BBC's Robin Oakley
"London's newly elected mayor took his victory carriage on the streets for a final tour"
See also:

05 May 00 | UK Politics
04 Apr 00 | London Mayor
06 May 00 | UK Politics
05 May 00 | Business
05 May 00 | London Mayor

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