Ken Livingstone beats Oona King to become Labour’s mayoral candidate

Popular former London mayor secures backing of his party to take on Boris in 2012

FORMER London Mayor and Camden councillor “Red Ken” Livingstone has beaten Oona King to become the Labour party’s Mayoral candidate for 2012.

Mr Livingstone, who has pledged to build more housing in the capital as well as improve transport for Londoners, will attempt to take back City Hall from Mayor Boris Johnson who beat him in 2008.

Mr Livingstone, who served two terms between 2000 and 2008, polled 68.6 per cent of the votes from London Labour party members as well as voters belonging to the unions and organisations affiliated to the Labour party.

The result brings Mr Livingstone back into the main political fold and means 2012 will see old political rivals Johnson and Livingstone go head to head again in a bid to take London.

Mr Livingstone blamed his defeat in 2008 on the Labour party’s poor standing at the time following decisions such as the abolition of the 10pence tax band and a hostile campaign against him by the Evening Standard newspaper.

Mayor Boris Johnson has been officially chosen by the Conservative party for the candidacy and former MP Lembit Opik has confirmed he wants to be the Liberal Democrat candidate and is hoping to secure the backing of his party.