Poor old Ken Livingstone, a man elected on a wave of optimism as the first mayor of London, but who will in all probability depart office tarnished and brow beaten. Allegations have now been made that he used public servants to write articles in support of his 2004 re election campaign, directly in breach of rules forbidding political abuse of taxpayers money.
This new controversy threatens to mar what is already a, well, controversial reign. Here’s his charge sheet to date:
— The Electoral Commission will today be asked to investigate claims that City Hall staff funded by the taxpayer wrongly undertook campaign work in 2004
— If the watchdog orders a full investigation it will join a lengthening queue of probes into the Mayor of London and his adminstration
— The Metropolitan Police confirmed that they were investigating allegations over missing funds given by the London Development Agency to Brixton Base
— MPs have also submitted a complaint to the Audit Commission over allegations that the LDA misused public funds and one Labour MP, Kate Hoey, has written to Gordon Brown expressing her concerns over Mr Livingstone
—The Mayor of London was last week forced to give his full backing to Lee Jasper, his senior aide following the resignation of Mr Jasper's deputy after being caught lying about a free foreign holiday Source: Francis Elliott
Never one to duck a challenge, Ken is starting to look like a flabby boxer at the end of his career. The knock out blow may just be round the corner……