Ken Livingstone served as London’s first elected mayor from 2000-08. He is one of the leading thinkers on the future of cities, and one of the most knowledgeable visionaries in this field. Livingstone has established a reputation for doing what is right for London, from leading the way in challenging discrimination at the Greater London Council, to the ground breaking introduction of the congestion charge, to his policies for dealing with climate change today.
During his tenure as Mayor of London, he garnered widespread public praise for upgrading the city’s aging transport system, introducing the revolutionary congestion charge, the Oyster card and introducing bus and cycle lanes. His leadership during the 7/7 2005 London bombings was widely praised and brought him international attention. He oversaw the bid that led to the 2012 Summer Olympics, leading to the regeneration of the entire East London area. Livingstone also initiated improvements in energy saving and recycling, and enacted environmental and civil rights policies.
He promotes the pivotal role cities globally could play in creating a better future for humanity. In 2005, through the C40 Climate leadership network he brought together mayors from across the world “as a way of getting something started that governments were not going to tackle”. Serving as C40’s first Chair, Livingstone established the C40 Secretariat in London. In 2007 he produced a climate change action plan, which showed how London could reduce its carbon emissions by 60% in 20 years and by 80 to 90% by 2050. In 2013 he spoke passionately regarding the ability of London to be a completely sustainable city by 2050.
He was elected to the position of Mayor of London in 2000 as an Independent. In 2004 he won re-election to a second term as Mayor as the Labour Candidate. Prior to becoming Mayor, he was leader of the Greater London Council, MP for Brent East, and a borough councillor for Lambeth and Camden.
He delivers illuminating opinions that provoke debate and consideration with an accent on the future. Livingstone speaks on the role of cities and the environment, investment, public transport and sustainability. He is a truly authoritative and entertaining speaker with a wealth of hands-on experience, from his 13-year tenure with the Greater London Council (5 of which in the capacity of leader); 14 years in office as an Member of Parliament; and 8 years as Mayor. Charismatic and unforgettable, he makes a powerful impact on audiences with his inspiring mix of cutting-edge ideas, common-sense insights and revealing anecdotes.
Ken Livingstone has twice held the chief executive office in London local government. Firstly, as leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986 by the government of Margaret Thatcher. Secondly, as the first Mayor of London, a post he held from its creation in 2000 until 2008. He also served as Labour Party Member of Parliament for Brent East between 1987 and 2001.
He was initially elected as Mayor of London as an Independent candidate after the Labour Party chose not to nominate him as their candidate in the first mayoral elections. In January 2004, he was re-admitted to the Labour Party. He stood as the official Labour Party candidate for Mayor in the June 2004 elections, which he won with a total of 828,380 first- and second-preference votes.
On May 1, 2008 Ken Livingstone was defeated in his second re-election bid by Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, and his term as Mayor of London ended on 4 May 2008.
Ken took the decision to bid for the 2012 Olympics and was instrumental in winning the games for London. Along with the government he led the preparation to deal with the 7/7 terrorist attack on London in 2005.
Ken currently co-hosts a radio phone-show on LBC 97.3 on Saturday mornings. On 4th May 2012 Livingstone was defeated in the London 2012 Mayoral Elections by the incumbent Mayor Boris Johnson. There was only a difference of 62538 votes between the 2 candidates with Livingstone receiving 992,273 votes and Johnson receiving 1,054,811 votes.
He has written three books, ‘If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It’ (1987), ‘Livingstone’s Labour’ (1989) and his autobiography ‘You Can’t Say That’ (2011).