Charlie Whelan says . . .

Don't believe it - "80 per cent give Ken the thumbs-up"

One thing I missed while I was away at the World Cup was a debate about what Ken Livingstone has done for us. Apparently, the Londoners who took part in this TV spectacular voted overwhelmingly in favour of the mayor, despite allegations made against him by the London Evening Standard. The only possible explanation for this is that they were all his relations.

Significantly, the mayor has refused to sue the London paper, but instead indulged in his very own smear campaign against its editor, Veronica Wadley. The boozy party story couldn't have come at a worse time for Livingstone, as he is trying to get back in to the Labour Party. Standing against the official Labour candidate even though he promised he wouldn't should mean that Livingstone stays banned for life. But it is his record as mayor that should disqualify him. I seem to recall that he said he would get rid of the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. He hasn't managed to keep even that promise.

Livingstone's biggest blunder has yet to kick in. The congestion charge will anger Londoners more than he thinks. Having to fork out even more money to drive in to town will be more unpopular than the poll tax. And the "Ken Tax" is every bit as unfair, because a flat charge hits the poor much harder than the rich. No socialist would dream of introducing such a tax - but when was Livingstone ever a socialist?

His latest outburst, no doubt timed to take the heat off his party tricks, is to call for single measles vaccinations. With babies' lives at risk if people do not have the jabs, I can't think of anything more irresponsible. By the way, just in case you were wondering, I never voted for him.

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