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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Mayor Livingstone sworn in
Ken Livingstone: Signed in with GLA members
Ken Livingstone has been officially sworn in as London's first directly elected mayor.

The new mayor signed a declaration of office at a low key ceremony on Monday at his temporary office in Romney House, central London.

Nine out of the 25 members of the Greater London Assembly were also sworn in.

They included three Tories, four Labour members and two Green members.

I Kenneth Robert Livingstone, having been elected to the office of mayor of London, declare that I take that office upon myself, and will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties of it to the best of my judgement and ability.

I undertake that, in the exercise of my functions of that office I will have regard to any guidance with respect to ethical standards issued by the secretary of state under Section 66 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

The mayor's declaration
During the ceremony Mr Livingstone failed to shed any further light on his plans for the capital.

The mayor has offered the position of deputy to Nicky Gavron, the Labour member for Enfield and Harrow in the London assembly.

She has not yet commented on whether she will accept the position.

The post of chair of the new Metropolitan Police committee has been offered to Labour member Lord Harris, who represents Brent and Harrow.

Green Party assembly member Darren Johnson, a top-up list candidate, has been given the environment brief.

Liberal Democrat member Lord Tope, another top-up list candidate, has turned down the offer of heading the fire and civil defence authority.

He said while it was an important position the Lib Dems were more interested in holding a more prominent post, such as equality or the environment.

Mr Livingstone said he had been assured by Prime Minister Tony Blair there would be no pressure on Labour members not to work with his administration, despite his expulsion from the party.

On the subject of Mr Livingstone rejoining Labour, Mr Blair did not offer any encouragement to the suggestion the Brent East MP could return to the party. He said Mr Livingstone had stood for mayor as an independent after previously saying he would not.

Mr Blair said: "You must understand that there is a degree of resentment in the Labour Party because people felt that they were given an assurance during the course of this long process that he would abide by the result."

The willingness of Labour members to accept a role in the administration may not be helped by Mr Livingstone's comments on Sunday.

He restated his willingness to go to court over government plans to push ahead for part-privatisation of London Underground.

Race on agenda

In an interview with black newspaper The Voice, Mr Livingstone also promised he would not let down voters from ethnic minorities who helped him to the mayor's office.

Mr Livingstone said: "I want to say thank you to all those from London's black communities who have voted for me - I will not let you down.

"During the last three months I have attended a number of hustings organised by Operation Black Vote ... and I heard time and time again black Londoners demand political representation and fair access to employment opportunities.

"My administration will tackle these issues in consultation with the black communities of London."

The assembly is made up of nine Labour members, nine Conservatives, four Liberal Democrats and three Greens.

The BBC's Tim Franks
"The signing in ceremony was a rather odd affair"
The BBC's John Pienaar
"Today's ceremony was all a bit low key"
See also:

05 May 00 | UK Politics
04 Apr 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | London Mayor
08 May 00 | UK Politics

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