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'STOP KEN' CAMPAIGN DEALS CRUSHING BLOW

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The hopes of left-wing Labour MP Ken Livingstone becoming London mayor could be dealt a crushing blow this week, re...
The hopes of left-wing Labour MP Ken Livingstone becoming London mayor could be dealt a crushing blow this week, reported Sunday Business (p2). The Greater London Labour Party is expected to agree that candidates should be vetted by a central selection panel, as has happened when choosing candidates for the European and Scottish parliaments.

Mr Livingstone's chances had rested on a London party ruling last summer that any candidate who received the backing of 10 constituency parties in the capital would automatically go on the shortlist.

While both these options are expected to be presented to the party's ruling national executive committee, the inclusion of the vetting plan would kill off Ken Livingstone's chances. He said: 'I can't

believe members of the London executive would rat on the decision which was agreed with just two votes against out of 500 just five months ago. It would be unprecedented'.

But one unnamed minister is quoted as saying: 'There is no way Ken is going to be allowed to become Labour's candidate. It's all going to be decided by No 10 anyway'.

Sunday Business says health secretary Frank Dobson is coming under increasing pressure from the Labour leadership to throw his hat into the ring.

But The Observer (p5), while agreeing that a vetting system will be introduced, so destroying Mr Livingstone's chance of being Labour's candidate, says it is probable that the shortlist offered to

London Labour Party members will include Pauline Green MEP, who will have benefitted from fronting the campaign for next May's European parliament elections; transport minister Glenda Jackson; Lambeth LBC chief executive Heather Rabbatts; and ALG chair and Haringey LBC leader Toby Harris.

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