Ken: Mayor has too much power for one person

KEN Livingstone yesterday said he was “still not persuaded” by the mayoral system because it concentrates too much power in one person’s hands.

“It’s easy to avoid serious scrutiny – Boris has had six press conferences in four years. When you come to see how the assembly gets to question him once a month that’s not the same as a detailed scrutiny by a council committee.

“It leads to a degree of celebrity politics which means the issues go down the agenda.”

Speaking at a lunch for reporters, the Labour mayoral candidate said he was meeting lifelong Labour voters who were voting for Boris Johnson because he makes people laugh.

“I find people on the doorstep who are natural Labour voters but say Boris is funny. I didn’t come into politics to make you laugh – if I wanted to make you laugh I’d have been a stand-up comedian.

“We should have a compromise: Boris should let me be mayor and I’ll support him to be permanent host of Have I Got News For You. That would be each of us doing what we do best.”

Livingstone also responded to those who criticised his decision to cry while watching his own party broadcast: “Those tears in the corner of my eye were absolutely bloody genuine. That’s why I’m busting a gut to win.”