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LIVINGSTONE MAKES IT TO LABOUR'S MAYOR SHORTLIST

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After a second interview with London Labour Party's mayoral candidate selection committee, Ken Livingstone, former ...
After a second interview with London Labour Party's mayoral candidate selection committee, Ken Livingstone, former leader of the Greater London Council, made the three-person short list.

The former health secretary Frank Dobson and erstwhile transport minister for London Glenda Jackson will make up the rest of the list from which party members in the capital will choose the official candidate. North London businessman and ex-councillor Ken Baldry did not make the ballot paper.

Announcing this on BBC Radio 5 Live, Clive Soley - chairman of the selection panel and chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party said: 'It has been a long process but we needed to be absolutely clear about the willingness of the candidates to stand on the party's programmes, policies and a London manifesto. All candidates have accepted they have no veto over parts of the manifesto, which is currently being drawn up, nor can they insist on policies being included.'

Mr Soley said that during his recall interview, Mr Livingstone was asked two specific questions: 'Would you support London's specific manifesto as a whole, which will be agreed by the national executive committee?' and 'Will you further confirm that you will not withdraw as a candidate if there are parts of the manifesto with which you disagree?'

He said that Mr Livingstone replied 'yes' to both questions, without any qualification.

This , said Mr Soley, meant he had withdrawn suggestions made at Tuesday's interview he might not sign up to the London manifesto if sections of it proved not to his liking.

Mr Soley added: 'And he has also stepped back from his threat to withdraw as a candidate if parts of the manifesto were not to his liking. We are delighted to have achieved this clarity. It means that the three candidates have satisfied the criteria to take part in the mayoral contest. They have all assured us they will stand on the manifesto agreed by the Labour Party.

'They would implement that manifesto once in office. They would work in co-operation with, and be supportive of, a Labour government. They fully support the selection system and believe it is fair. They will also support and work for whichever candidate is selected. They would never contemplate standing as an independent against the Labour Party under any circumstances. I now hope we can focus on the issues.'

Questioned, Mr Soley said the public private partnership funding for London Underground was in Labour's general election manifesto. The issue might come up in consultation over the drafting of the London manifesto, but it was 'inconceivble' that PPP would not be included in the mayoral manifesto.

Mr Livingstone said he had not compromised his position. Even if he had reservations about the eventual manifesto, if selected, he would campaign on it.

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