Livingstone running scared of Johnson Mayoral Challenge

Darren Johnson’s comments came after Ken Livingstone publicly criticised him for taking a “negative approach” to working with the Mayor’s administration.

Darren Johnson is seeking the Green Party’s nomination for the London Mayoral contest once more. Mr Johnson is widely acknowledged to have fought a very strong campaign as the Green Party’s Mayoral candidate in May 2000 and the Greens were rewarded with an impressive three seats on the 25-member London Assembly. In the last Mayoral contest Darren Johnson polled 13% of second preference votes. Mr Livingstone may be concerned that many of these will now turn into first preference votes for Johnson, given that many of Livingstone’s more radical supporters have become increasingly disillusioned with his record as Mayor.

Darren Johnson commented, “Ken Livingstone deserves to face a strong Green challenge at the next Mayoral election. He has already intervened in Labour’s selection process to ensure he has a tame Labour opponent in Nicky Gavron. I don’t see why he should have a tame Green opponent, too.”

“Ken wants me to be more supportive of his mayoralty but why should I be when he is supporting new roadbuilding, more airport expansion and an economic strategy that puts big business first? We need a strong Green voice in this contest putting forward an alternative vision to reduce traffic, support local communities and reduce the gap between rich and poor.”


Notes to Editors

Ken Livingstone’s remarks about Darren Johnson were made in a written answer to a question from a Labour Assembly Member.

The Green Party will formally select its candidate for Mayor in August 2003, following a ballot of all London members.


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