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June 8, 2011

London Assembly condemns Ken Livingstone.

I wrote at the weekend about Ken Livingstone branding Boris’ Chief of Staff, Eddie Lister, “the Ratko Mladic of local government”. I suggested that the scale of the comment’s offensiveness and moronity meant that it was more than just yet another case of Ken being rude, and deserved to be highlighted. Nor was it, as some desperate Labour supporters have tried to suggest, a joke. Sure enough, as the excellent MayorWatch reports, the London Assembly today passed a motion condemning Ken’s remarks.

What’s even more interesting than Ken’s embarrassing rebuke is the actual wording of the motion (which I’ve stolen shamelessly from the MayorWatch article):

“That this Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked and welcomes the appointment of Edward Lister to the role of Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor, Planning. This Assembly believes his long and distinguished experience in local government will benefit all of London and calls on all Members of the Assembly to disassociate themselves from the disgusting personal attacks made by a member of the public comparing him to a mass murderer and war criminal.”

As well as disassociating itself from Ken’s ‘disgusting personal attacks’, the motion praises Eddie Lister’s ‘long and distinguished experience in local government’. That’s interesting because the motion was supported by the Lib Dem Assembly Members. Their willingness to give Ken a kicking whilst praising Boris’ Chief of Staff – albeit with some minor caveats – could have reasonable implications, given the second preferences of Lib Dem supporters could swing next year’s mayoral election if it’s a close race.

Anyway, that’s mere conjecture. What is fact is that Ken Livingstone can now add a rebuke from the London Assembly over these comments to the wide criticism he’s received for, amongst other things, working for Iranian state television, befriending Yusuf al-Qaradawi, campaigning for Lutfur Rahman, being best mates with the increasingly megalomaniacal Hugo Chavez, comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard, and calling Barack Obama a mobster for having Osama bin Laden killed. Every time the mask slips and Ken’s extremist views emerge, it becomes that bit harder to imagine him celebrating victory at the mayoral election next spring.

[NOTE: You can watch the questions to Lister, and the debate on the subsequent motion, here.]

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