Well that’s disappointing. Jon Cruddas has come out and backed Ken Livingstone as Labour’s candidate for mayor, the Guardian reports this morning. His backing is important.
“Labour needs a candidate who can win in 2012, uniting the party and taking the fight to a Boris Johnson administration that has let Londoners down. Labour needs a candidate who will be a first-rate mayor from day one, who knows the levers of power, and how to use power in the interests of all Londoners.
“For me, Labour’s candidate must be Ken Livingstone. He has my vote, and I call on all Labour members to unite behind him, too,” Cruddas said.
Cruddas, who was at one time seen as a possible mayoral contender, ruled himself out of running last week as has just about everyone else. Peter Mandelson has said no as has Tessa Jowell. Alan Johnson’s name has has been mentioned, but he has shown no interest.
Unless there is a last minute surprise it looks like we are set for a straight fight between Oona King and Livingstone. It will be a tough battle for her. The case that Cruddas puts forward for Livingstone regarding his experience and sticky fingers on the “levers of power” will be a persuasive one to some. Not for me.