Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Livingstone, Ken(neth) (1945– )
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

British Labour politician, mayor of London 2000–08. The leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) 1981–86 and member of Parliament for Brent East 1987–2001, he ran as an independent in the London mayoral election in 2000, opposing Frank Dobson, the Labour Party's official candidate. This led to his expulsion from the Labour Party for five years. He was readmitted in January 2004 and, despite his reputation as an outspoken and maverick figure, was elected for a second term as mayor in June 2004 as the official Labour Party candidate. As mayor, he introduced the pioneering initiative of a ‘congestion charge’ on vehicles entering central London, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion and providing more funds for public transport. He narrowly failed to secure a third term as mayor in May 2008, being defeated by the Conservative candidate Boris Johnson.

As leader of the GLC (until its abolition by Margaret Thatcher in 1986), Livingstone introduced cheap travel on the London underground under a ‘Fares Fair’ policy, supported dialogue with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and supported gay rights. He would display the latest unemployment figures outside GLC headquarters so that they were clearly visible to MPs in the Palace of Westminster across the River Thames. He stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Labour Party leadership elections in 1992.

Livingstone was born in Streatham, London, and educated at Tulse Hill Comprehensive and Phillipa Fawcett College of Education. He joined the Labour Party in 1969, and was active in London politics from 1971, serving as a local councillor for Lambeth 1971–78 and for Camden 1978–82.


Livingstone, Ken(neth)

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Livingstone, Ken Kenneth Robert L; (1945 - )
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

A left-winger, he became famous for his maverick policies as Labour leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until its...

Full text Article Livingstone, Ken
The Columbia Encyclopedia

1945–, British politician. Elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1973 as a Labour member, he became GLC leader in 1981. His use of the loca

Full text Article Red Ken
Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable

A fairly obvious media nickname for Ken Livingstone (b.1945), Labour leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1981 to its dissolution...

See more from Credo