Current Affairs

Ken and Boris trade blows over Mayor’s Fund

Tony Grew April 18, 2008
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The Conservative party candidate for Mayor of London’s plans for a new charitable fund for the city have been attacked as a “throwback to the nineteenth century.”

Boris Johnson, who is MP for Henley, will announce his Mayor’s Fund for London later this month.

Is it described as “a scheme designed to allow those from the City and other industries to donate into a fund which will in turn support community projects.”

On Tuesday it was announced that Bob Diamond, President of Barclays PLC, will be advising on the development of the fund and the way it seeks financial support.

Campaigning with Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, who is seeking a third term in office, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, said:

“When you contrast Ken’s policies in every area with those of the Oxfordshire MP who has never shown any commitment to London or putting Londoners first, it is clear why every Londoner should vote for London by voting for Ken.”

Mr Livingstone and Mr Balls were unveiling a new £79 million London Youth Offer, which they have worked on and agreed together.

They said it will help give young Londoners safe places to go outside school and substantially increase opportunities for young Londoners.

Over the next two years funding from the government and London Development Agency to support new youth clubs and centres and new facilities and activities for young people.

“Boris Johnson’s plan that our young people should have to rely on charitable handouts from the City of London for the investment they need is a throwback to the nineteenth century and would be doomed,” said Mr Livingstone.

“Once again he shows himself out of touch and ignorant of how to plan and deliver proper services.”

“Charitable groups across the capital will be appalled by Ken Livingstone’s unfounded attack on the excellent work that they do,” Mr Johnson said.

“This comes in the same week as the Mayor showed his contempt for the voluntary sector by snubbing the Centre for Social Justice hustings. This shows just how out of touch Mr Livingstone has become.

“I want the people who commit time and money through the voluntary sector to know that I will be their champion.

“It is time to end this old style politics of division and class attack and recognise the contribution that people from all backgrounds can make to our community.

“The £79 million which Ken Livingstone talks about is Government money that would be spent on London’s young people whoever is Mayor after 1st May. He is deliberately trying to mislead Londoners by claiming this is his money and his plan.

“Time and again Mr Livingstone has tried to solve problems with centralised schemes run through the LDA.

“Yet on his watch millions of pounds earmarked for youth projects has gone missing or has been spent with nothing to show for it. He has looked after his friends, while neglecting London’s youth.”

Londoners will elect the Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly on May 1st.

Full list of candidates for Mayor of London:

Richard Barnbrook – British National Party

Gerard Batten – UK Independence Party

Sian Berry – Green Party

Alan Craig – Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party

Lindsey German – The Left List

Boris Johnson – Conservative Party

Ken Livingstone – Labour Party

Winston McKenzie – Independent

Matt O’Connor – English Democrats

Brian Paddick – Liberal Democrats

More: Mayoral Election

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