Andrew Gilligan tells of unrest in the ranks of the Labour Party in relation to the forthcoming Livingstone Mayoral campaign:
There was a fascinating private meeting earlier this month at the Bancroft Library in Tower Hamlets. Paul Harrington, the operations director of the London Labour Party, came to persuade the borough’s Labour councillors to support a Labour candidate.
Unusual, yes – but then that candidate is Ken Livingstone. As well as all his other negatives, Ken is the man who sabotaged the Tower Hamlets Labour Party last year, campaigning against the Labour candidate for the mayoralty of the borough and backing instead an independent, Lutfur Rahman, sacked by Labour for his links with Islamic extremism. Lutfur won; Labour lost.
Next year, Ken will be trying to regain a mayoralty of his own – London. It’s not going terribly well at the moment – despite the Tories’ national unpopularity, the latest poll puts Ken further behind Boris Johnson than when he lost in 2008 – so he’ll need all the help he can get. He’s hoping that his amazing disloyalty is now forgiven and forgotten. From the reports I’ve received of the meeting, it doesn’t seem to have been.