Ken wins green laurels

Incumbent Labour candidate Ken Livingstone is the “greenest” of the three main candidates for the London mayoral election, according to Friends of the Earth.

The environmental lobby group awarded Mr Livingstone nine out of ten on his environmental, economic, transport and housing policies, compared to seven out of ten for Conservative rival Boris Johnson.

Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate, scored just five out of ten, apparently reversing his party’s traditional strong commitment to green issues.

It is Mr Livingstone who takes FoE’s praise, however, for having shown “genuine leadership” on environmental issues.

“As mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has put environmental issues at the heart of his policymaking,” FoE director Tony Juniper said.

“His manifesto is full of exciting plans to go even further. Of the three main candidates for London mayor, Ken Livingstone is the greenest.”

Mr Juniper accused the Johnson campaign of having failed to back up its “sometimes vague” pledges to make London a green city, which Mr Paddick’s manifesto was dismissed as “far too sketchy”.

FoE’s backing of Mr Livingstone could make a difference at the election as a Unison/Mori poll published last week showed over a quarter of Londoners said green issues would be “very important in helping decide who to vote for”.

Mr Livingstone himself welcomed FoE’s approval and took the opportunity to attack Mr Johnson’s policies.

“The election is neck and neck and everyone who cares about the environment needs to vote for me to stop Boris Johnson wrecking London’s environment,” he urged.

“It didn’t seem possible six weeks ago, but Boris Johnson’s environmental policies have got even worse during the course of the campaign.”