Ken Livingstone is 'tricky', says Labour peer

Another day, another Labour heavyweight dissing Ken. This time it’s the distinguished human fertility expert and Labour peer, Professor Lord Winston – who knows a stillbirth when he sees one.

On Tuesday’s Daily Politics, Winston said:

I don’t really understand how we’ve arrived [in] the Labour Party at choosing Ken Livingstone, who has been shown to be quite a tricky sort of customer. I’d have thought we might have had a fresher view about how London might be led by Labour… I think the person who represents London, their personality is actually very important… I think [Ken’s] espoused some disastrous causes and some of his comments on international politics seem to me to be extremely unhealthy.

Lord Winston joins a long list of prominent Labour figures who have openly criticised Ken during this campaign. They include:

Ken’s own running-mate and designated deputy mayor, Val Shawcross;

Ken’s own campaign director (at the time), Hilary Perrin;

the Labour peer, TV celebrity and major donor, Lord Sugar;

the Labour London Assembly candidate Andrew Dismore;

the Labour MPs Austin Mitchell, Jim Fitzpatrick and Rushanara Ali;

the Labour-supporting columnist Jonathan Freedland;

the editor of the Labour List blog, Mark Ferguson;

the founder of the LabourHome blog and former Labour parliamentary candidate Alex Hilton;

the former Labour parliamentary candidate Jonathan Roberts;

the Labour-supporting journalists Nick Cohen and Martin Bright;

the Labour activists and former party officials/ special advisers Dan Hodges and Rob Marchant;

the associate editor of the Labour Uncut blog, Atul Hatwal.

Sugar, Freedland, Hilton, Roberts, Cohen and Hodges have all explicitly said that they will not even be voting for Ken. I know a further twenty or so prominent London Labour people, including several MPs and at least one council leader, who have privately said that they will join them. Off the record, indeed, it is hard to find a single thinking person in the London Labour Party who can muster genuine enthusiasm for Ken.

But Ken does have some supporters: in the last week, he’s attracted the coveted endorsements of George Galloway and Alastair Campbell.

The good news just keeps on coming!

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