Ken Livingstone

Politician + Former Mayor of London

Kenneth Robert Livingstone is a British Labour Party politician who has twice held the leading political role in London local government, first as the Leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until the Council was abolished in 1986, and then as the first elected Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008. He also served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent East from 1987 to 2001.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Ken Livingstone.

  • Ken Livingstone Will Play No Formal Role In Labour's Defence Review Telegraph.Co.Uk
    Google News - Jan 15, 2016
  • Ken Livingstone Branded 'a Shameful Stupid Man' By Relatives Of 7/7 Victims Daily Mail
    Google News - Nov 27, 2015
  • Ken Livingstone Backtracks On Apology Over 'psychiatric Help' Remarks The Guardian
    Google News - Nov 18, 2015
  • 08d488ff00000514 0 image m 2 1428970699663
    How Ken Livingstone Helped Write Ed Miliband's Manifesto By Andrew Pierce
    Daily Mail (UK) - Apr 14, 2015


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ken Livingstone.


1945 Birth Livingstone was born in his grandmother's house in Lambeth, south London, on 17 June 1945. … Read More


1956 - 1957 2 More Events
1958 13 Years Old His interest in politics was furthered by the 1958 papal election of Pope John XXIII – a man who had "a strong impact" on Livingstone. … Read More
1962 17 Years Old From 1962–70, he worked as a technician at the Chester Beatty cancer research laboratory in Fulham, looking after animals used in experimentation. … Read More
1964 19 Years Old Livingstone's leftist views solidified upon the election of Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1964.


1966 21 Years Old With a friend from Chester Beatty, Livingstone toured West Africa in 1966, visiting Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Lagos, Ghana and Togo. … Read More
Born in Lambeth, South London, to a working-class family, Livingstone joined Labour in 1968 and was elected to represent Norwood at the GLC in 1973, Hackney North and Stoke Newington in 1977, and Paddington in 1981, when he was elected leader of the GLC by Labour members. … Read More
1971 26 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1971, Livingstone and his comrades developed a new strategy for obtaining political power in Lambeth borough. … Read More
1972 27 Years Old In June 1972, after a campaign orchestrated by Eddie Lopez, Livingstone was selected as the Labour candidate for Norwood in the Greater London Council (GLC).
Beginning a romantic relationship with Christine Chapman, president of the PFTTC student's union, the couple married in 1973.


1975 - 1980 8 More Events
Livingstone turned his attention to achieving a GLC Labour victory, exchanging his safe-seat in Hackney North for the marginal Inner London seat at Paddington; in May 1981 he won the seat by 2,397 votes. … Read More
Moving into a small flat at 195 Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale with his pet reptiles and amphibians, he divorced in October 1982 and began a relationship with Kate Allen, chair of Camden Council Women's Committee.
In February 1983, Livingstone visited Adams in his constituency of West Belfast, receiving a hero's welcome from local republicans.


1986 41 Years Old The GLC was formally abolished at midnight on 31 March 1986, with Livingstone marking the occasion by holding a free concert at Festival Hall. … Read More
Elected as MP for Brent East in 1987, he became closely associated with anti-racist campaigns. … Read More
1990 45 Years Old …  The Mayor's Energy Strategy, "green light to clean power," committed London to reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide by 20%, relative to the 1990 level, by 2010. … Read More
1991 46 Years Old 1 More Event
He continued to make his opinions known, refusing to pay the controversial poll tax until it was revoked, and being one of the 55 Labour MPs to oppose British involvement in the Gulf War in January 1991. Conversely, he supported NATO intervention in the Balkans, and the bombing of Serbia. In the 1992 general election, John Major led the Conservatives to a narrow victory, resulting in Kinnock's resignation as head of Labour. … Read More
1994 49 Years Old After Smith died in May 1994, Livingstone again put his name down as a potential leader, although withdrew it due to a lack of support. … Read More


1995 - 1997 6 More Events
After failing to become Labour's candidate in the 2000 London mayoral election, Livingstone successfully contested the election as an independent candidate. … Read More
Continuing his support for LGBT rights, in 2001 he set up Britain's first register for same-sex couples; while falling short of legal marriage rights, the register was seen as a step towards the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
At a May 2002 party in Tufnell Park, Livingstone got into an argument with Beal's friend Robin Hedges, a reporter for The Evening Standard. … Read More
2003 58 Years Old 1 More Event
He gained the support of Labour's culture secretary Tessa Jowell, who convinced the government to back the plans in May 2003. … Read More
Despite his opposition to Blair's government on issues like the Iraq War, Livingstone was invited to stand for re-election as Labour's candidate and was re-elected in 2004, expanding his transport policies, introducing new environmental regulations, and enacting civil rights policies. … Read More


Livingstone continued to champion the Palestinian cause in the Israel-Palestine conflict, in March 2005 accusing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of being a "war criminal" responsible for the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. … Read More
The Standards Board for England asked the Adjudication Panel for England to deal with Livingstone on the issue, who in February 2006 found him guilty of bringing his office into disrepute and suspended him from office for a month. … Read More
In May 2007, Livingstone travelled to New York City to attend the C40 conference of major world cities to deal with environmentalist issues. … Read More
He stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate in London's mayoral elections of 2008 and 2012, losing both to the Conservative candidate Boris Johnson. … Read More
In January 2009, Livingstone responded to the Gaza War by calling for the European Union and the UK to bring home their ambassadors to Israel to express disapproval for the "slaughter and systematic murder of innocent Arabs".
2010 - 2015 8 More Events
In March 2016, Livingstone again courted controversy by comparing a hedge fund's donation to Labour MP Dan Jarvis to "Jimmy Savile funding a children's group"; it subsequently emerged that Livingstone himself had received £8,000 from a hedge fund, leading to accusations of hypocrisy.
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