LondonNet News Headlines
26/07/00
Ken Handed Transport Cash
- Labour begin moves to re-integrate maverick Mayor

KEN LIVINGSTONE'S rapprochement with the government continues with the news that Chancellor Gordon Brown has agreed to hand the London Mayor UKP3.2 billion to invest in London's public transport.

"With the UKP3 billion, we will be able to make a good start on many of the major transport projects London needs," said Livingstone, whose first moves will be to increase the frequency of buses on main routes.

The sting in the tail for the mayor is that any extra cash he wants will have to come via the private sector, a fund raising method the maverick left-winger vehemently rejected during the mayoral election campaign. Despite Livingstone's vows to fight the use of private money for public transport, the UKP3.2 billion sweetener is expected to encourage him to come to some kind of agreement with the government.

That would then set the stage for Livingstone's return to the Labour Party fold following his expulsion for standing as an independent against the party in May's election. Such a move would enable Prime Minister Tony Blair to claim he has listened to left critics of the party and win their support for the general election campaign expected next year.




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