Ken urges focus on Londoners concerns – and issues a challenge

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After last night’s BBC Newsnight London Mayoral election debate, Ken Livingstone has urged the Tory candidate Boris Johnson to debate the real issues that matter to Londoners.

But he has also issued him a challenge that will put to bed the Tory sniping about tax.

Ken said:

“What Londoners need to know in this election is whose policies will make them better off. I will cut the fares to save London fare payers £1,000 and under my pledges all London households can save huge sums on other items like cutting electricity bills or restoring Education Maintenance Allowance. London fare payers alone will lose £1,000 on Boris Johnson’s policies.

‘It is because they are desperate for the election not to centre on the real issues that deeply affect Londoners’ living standards that the Conservative candidate and his leading media-backers have raised issues about my income and tax and that of my wife.

‘I will lodge the details for the last four years with an independent body or individual, to be published simultaneously when all four main candidates have provided them. I will set out income to my company over the last four years, how much my wife and I received and how much tax was paid. Full household income and tax must be released by all candidates because the question of the overall household income and tax has continuously been the subject. This fully meets the terms agreed on Newsnight.

“The Conservative campaign will continue to seek to divert attention from the issues which affect Londoners simply because they want to try to prevent Londoners realising they will be hundreds of pounds a year better off under my policies and hundreds of pounds worse off under Boris Johnson.”