Is this the voice of the left?

Submitted by Anon on 24 June, 2006 - 1:35

A contested election for the Labour leadership would be “virtually meaningless” as “there's such an overwhelming consensus that Gordon will succeed”. Meanwhile, the post of Labour deputy leader should be abolished: “I’d have the elected leader who becomes Prime Minister — they appoint the deputy that they want and can trust and can work with”.

Geoff Hoon? Jack Straw? Some other “Brownite” apparatchik? In fact, these are the words of London mayor Ken Livingstone.

In an interview recorded earlier this month, Livingstone told GMTV’s Sunday morning programme that he had “moved on” from his criticisms of the Chancellor, and offered “Gordon” simpering advice about how to handle his “succession”. He also advocated a further assault on Labour Party democracy by letting the leader handpick his or her deputy, “as I do here. I do not have a deputy imposed on me, I get to choose who I want”.

In the same interview, Livingstone defended Met police commissioner Ian Blair over the Forest Gate raid and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Evidence enough that the mayor is a maverick Blairite careerist, and not a socialist or left-winger of any sort?

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