The Beeb and Standard are both running heavily with voter fraud allegations in Tower Hamlets. Ken’s allies in the council have been investigated by the Electoral Commission and today the Met were called in. With just a week to go, this will be one to watch next Thursday…
Labour’s part-time Campaign Chief Tom Watson is clearly regretting his outing on LBC this morning where he said: “Those Lab voters thinking of going to vote for Boris, hold your nose, vote for Ken.” Realising his mistake, Watson rushed to his blog to try to blame his own loose tongue on the vast right-wing conspiracy of a Standard hack tweeting the comment. In justifying his words, however, he has dug himself further into a hole:
“There are a number of people who tell us on the doorstep that they would vote Labour if there was a general election tomorrow but are currently considering voting Conservative because they either a; like Boris Johnson or b; don’t like Ken.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Labour Party, with the responsibility for campaigns, casually concedes that his own voters are not backing their candidate. Stick to the Murdoch-baiting Tom…
UPDATE: In other news Ken is now said to be rowing back from his promise to release full set of earnings signed off by an accountant. Quelle surprise!
UPDATE II: LBC have made the full quote available:
“For once, I’m being totally candid with you. I’m saying to you, those Labour voters that are thinking of going to vote for Boris Johnson, hold your nose, vote for Ken, because that’s the way that you will help Labour. Let me also say, that having worked with Ken Livingstone, looking at his interview in The Guardian this morning, he has a beautiful dog. He’s got a Labrador. I shouldn’t say this, but there is an American maxim that when a politician is in trouble, get him a dog.”
Guido thinks Watson doth protest too much…
Ken Livingstone has a tendency to shoot his mouth off and says things which are inadvisable, like criticising politicians for cosying up to News International when he himself is no stranger to Wapping:
Incidentally when Guido tweeted this picture yesterday twitter-idiots claimed it was a fake. It is absolutely genuine.
At the London Jewish Forum last night under pressure about his tax affairs Ken promised again that the certified Silveta accounts would be published online “shortly”. No sign of them yet. Only 20 days since he first promised he would..
Labour’s second most famous backer Lord Winston has followed the lead of Alan Sugar and slammed Ken. Talking on the Daily Politics he questioned how the party had managed to select Livingstone. Just a week ago Lord Winston was the face of the Labour Party’s Election Broadcast. If he isn’t backing Ken, then why should any Labour supporter?
Meanwhile Ken has today promised to release all of his earnings, and those of Silveta, and the tax he has paid, signed off by an accountant. There are rumours of avian swine sightings too. At least he admits that his last figures were a load of…
Video via Liar Politicians
Bob Crow, the RMT union boss hated by London’s commuters, has put the union’s money behind an attempt to stop the “Not Ken Again“ advertising posters attacking Ken’s cronyism. He is wasting the RMT’s money because all the evidence is that he is Ken’s crony.
Team Ken have deliberately tried to keep London hate-figure Crow and his militant transport union out of the picture at all times during the campaign. Above is a mock-up of what would happen on May 4 if Londoners “Got Ken Again”.
The RMT boss is trying to get the crony posters blocked, yet Ken’s candidate for deputy mayor Val Shawcross is a member of the RMT and supports their strikes. During Livingstone’s first term Bob Crow served on the Transport for London board he chaired between 2002 and 2004. The records show ‘the chair welcomed Bob Crow to his first board meeting’. The favour was well received, last year Crow told LBC “I’ve never been apart from Ken. We have differences like I have with my brother and sister but overall, Ken’s a good bloke. Give us a shout Ken when you want some money”. Spoken like a true crony.
UPDATE: With perfect timing the RMT are planning to go on strike this afternoon.
Ken said last month: “No journalist has contacted my accountant to ask anything about my tax arrangements. I’d be quite happy for them to do so.” So we called his accountant and he wasn’t happy to speak to us at all…
We called Ken’s accountant Peter Auguste to ask him why if he had signed off Ken’s released tax declaration as Team Ken claims, he had not put his name to the document? He refused to confirm he had in fact signed off the declaration. A week after Ken released his figures they then changed on his website. We think Ken was lying and that the figures were not in fact signed off by his accountant, who would not have got them wrong when by law they were signed off and sworn to be true in his annual returns to HMRC.
All of sudden Ken’s claimed income had risen from £164,055 to £205,800 and his tax paid from £113,861 to £131,606. Mysterious.
This might have something to do with the fact that – as he’s admitted to the Standard – he “forgot” to include in his declaration a “resettlement grant” he got from the GLA when he lost the mayoralty. But that resettlement grant was £71,000 – so even Ken’s new figures don’t seem to add up. So a simple question for Ken tonight. Were his released figures really produced by his accountant or by his campaign?
His accountant has refused to confirm to us he signed them off. There is no signature or letterhead on the released figures and the document properties appears to show that it was produced by Mark Watts. Watts is the name of Ken Livingstone’s former advisor whilst Mayor who joined his Parliamentary staff in 1999 and now works as a “Climate Change advisor”. Not an accountant…