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Livingstone names running mate

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Labour’s candidate for London mayor, Ken Livingstone, has announced a new running mate for the election in 2012.

London Assembly member and former leader of Croydon LBC Val Shawcross will be the party’s candidate for deputy mayor.

She replaces Mr Livingstone’s former running mate Nicky Gavron, who was deputy mayor from 2000 to 2008 and stood alongside him when he was defeated by Boris Johnson that year.

Ms Shawcross represents Lambeth and Southwark on the London Assembly, chairs its Transport Committee and is a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Livingstone aides said his decision to ask her to run on his ticket reflected his commitment to build “a fresh and talented campaign team” for his fourth tilt at the mayoralty.

Mr Livingstone said: “While Boris Johnson’s administration fails to get a grip from transport chaos to Tube and fire strikes and fare increases, Val Shawcross is extremely capable and in touch with ordinary Londoners.”

He paid tribute to Ms Gavron and said she would be driving Labour’s agenda on climate change and planning if his team returned to power at City Hall.

Ms Shawcross, left, said: “It is becoming clearer by the day London’s Conservative mayor is out of his depth… Last week parts of London were paralysed by snow, delays on the Tube have become the norm and vital public services such as the police are being cut.

“In uncertain times we don’t need an uncertain mayor. Londoners need an administration in City Hall which is on their side and will always stand up for them. It is clear that Boris Johnson is failing to do this.”

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