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BANKS FAVOURITE FOR CAPITAL MAYOR

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Sports minister Tony Banks has emerged as the most likely winner in the race to become Labour's candidate for mayor...
Sports minister Tony Banks has emerged as the most likely winner in the race to become Labour's candidate for mayor of London, after party attempts to sideline Ken Livingstone, the Independent reports (p4).

Mr Livingstone has vowed to continue his fight with a US-style 'write-in' campaign, in which he would urge all 69,000 members of the London party to write his name on the ballot paper of any selection contest, even if he was barred by the party from standing.

His defiance followed the London Labour party board decision to create a vetting panel to draw up a shortlist of mayoral candidates.

Mr Banks is the joint favourite of bookmakers with Glenda Jackson and it emerged last night Mr Banks has the support of several ministers and party officials. Mr Banks was chairman of the Greater London Council from 1985-86.

Yet two polls published yesterday confirmed Mr Livingstone's popularity in London. A BBC poll of constituency party secretaries showed he had three times as much support as any other contender and a Carlton TV survey found 90 per cent of the public wanted him on the short list.
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