UK Politics

Greens ride to Ken’s rescue?

It looks like the greens might be riding to Ken Livingstone’s rescue in his bid to win a third term as London Mayor. After a poll earlier this week (see post below) put him someway behind Tory candidate Boris Johnson he has unveiled an election pact with the Green Party.

According to the Guardian, the Greens are telling their supporters to transfer their second vote to Ken. They had earlier rejected supporting the mayor saying he was not doing enough for the environment.

Livingstone made the announcement at a press conference with the Green candidate Siân Berry. She asked those who planned to vote for her on May 1 to pick Livingstone as their number-two choice. At the same press conference the mayor urged his voters to put the Green party candidate second.

In a joint statement the two, said: “Tackling climate change and creating a fairer London must be at the top of any serious mayor’s agenda. Boris Johnson, who supported George W Bush in opposing the Kyoto treaty and would scrap the CO2 charge on gas-guzzlers, cannot be trusted with London’s environment.”

Berry gives a full explanation of the decison over on her New Statesman blog where she spells out the “double” Tory threat.

“London faces a double threat in the next 43 days. First, we have the threat of Boris Johnson. As Mayor, he would prove to be a disaster for London, even on his own. But second, we also have the threat of a Tory monopoly over London.

“For the past four years, Ken Livingstone has had to negotiate and compromise, because he has had to win votes from another party to pass his budget. Each year, the Greens on the London Assembly have driven a hard bargain and we have made significant progress in a number of social and environmental areas.

“Boris Johnson, in contrast, would come with a built-in Tory majority, enabling him to do anything he likes over the heads of a powerless opposition in the Assembly. And the truth is that what Boris Johnson likes is not what you or I like. He doesn’t share Londoners’ values; in fact in many ways he seems to hate them.

“He hates that we celebrate each other’s heritage; he hates that we are trying to pass on a healthy environment to our children; he hates that we look after our most vulnerable neighbours; and most of all he hates that we all expect to share in our city’s financial success. And if he is elected he will do his best to dismantle and destroy all of that.”