Speakers Profile - Ken Livingstone

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Ken Livingstone is a Londoner born and bred, and earned a record of speaking up for Londoners throughout his time in politics.

He established a reputation for doing what was right for London, from leading the way in challenging discrimination at the Greater London Council to the groundbreaking introduction of the congestion charge to his policies for dealing with climate change today.

He was the elected Mayor of London in 2000, the first person to hold this office.

Ken was born in Lambeth in 1945 and educated at Tulse Hill Comprehensive School. After working as a technician at the Chester Beatty Cancer Research Institute in London, he entered Phillipa Fawcett Teacher Training College.

He was a Labour councillor in Lambeth and in Camden. In 1973, he became a Labour member of the Greater London Council (GLC) and in 1981, he became its leader, a position he held until March 1986 when Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC, ending an era in London government. The GLC's campaign against abolition was one of the most popular political campaigns in London's history. London-wide government was only restored in 2000.

From 1987 to June 2001, Ken was the Labour Member of Parliament for Brent East. He became London's first elected Mayor in 2000 as an Independent. In 2004 he won re-election to a second term as Mayor as the Labour candidate. During his time as Mayor he helped win the 2012 Olympics for London, introduced the controversial congestion charge scheme, and steered London through the horror of the 7/7 terrorist attacks. In May 2008, he lost out on a third term as Mayor to Conservative candidate Boris Johnson. Ken made his LBC 97.3 presenter debut shortly afterwards, and now presents a weekly show.