MAYORAL ELECTION: Victorious Boris pays tribute to emotional Ken
KEN Livingstone handed over the reins of power at City Hall and promised Boris Johnson that the next four years would be the best four years of his life. An emotional Mr Livingstone thanked Londoners for allowing him to be mayor for the past eight years
KEN Livingstone handed over the reins of power at City Hall and promised Boris Johnson that being mayor would be the best four years of his life.
An emotional Mr Livingstone thanked Londoners for allowing him to be mayor for the past eight years and said that during that time London had become a top-class city. He said it was a privilege to serve and paid tribute to everyone at City Hall who had played a part in what had been a remarkable success story.
The defeated mayor refused to place any of the blame for defeat on either Gordon Brown or the Labour Party, saying that responsibility for failing to get the two extra percentage points he needed was his and his alone.
Defeat for Mr Livingstone had been on the cards from earlier on in the day. But there was still relief among Boris Johnson's followers when the result was finally announced minutes from midnight.
A clearly delighted Boris Johnson promised to work flat out to earn the trust of Londoners during his acceptance speech . He began by thanking the thousands of Conservative knocker-uppers who had worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks.
"This has been a marathon election with a record turnout. It is good for politics and good for London," he said.
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The newly elected mayor went on to congratulate third-placed Brian Paddick, who had, he said, showed common sense and decency during his campaign.
Then paying tribute to former mayor Livingstone, Mr Johnson said: "Ken has been a considerable public servant and a distinguished leader of this city."
He praised his predecessor for his stance after the London bombings saying: "When London was attacked you spoke for London and earned the admiration of millions of Londoners. I hope that we can continue to benefit from your obvious love of London.''