21 Feb 2012

London mayoral hustings: ‘Groundhog Day’

Just popped into the first hustings of the London Mayoral contest at the Friends Meeting House in Euston Road.

As Boris Johnson said opening the event, it’s “groundhog day” and he told the audience (Age Concern supporters) that they could be forgiven for thinking they’d “woken up after nodding off in the last (2008) Age Concern husting … to a distressingly familiar panel.”

Ken Livingstone majored on heating homes and accused Boris Johnson of failing to do enough on insulation.

He also says he’ll get Transport for London to up its energy purchase bought at bulk prices and pass on the extra discounted fuel to households.

Boris heckled, but the heckling from the platform was nothing compared to the heckling from the older people who’d turned up to listen. About two dozen even laughed when Brian Paddick (Lib Dem candidate again) said they might vote for him. He might want to get his peroration a little more positive . “Giving up is not an option!” he said.

Ken’s biggest applause was for attacking Boris over his £250,000 a year job at the Telegraph. He produced a pledge to take no outside income if elected then threw it down for Boris to sign. No sign yet that Boris is going to sign it. Ken said anyone who can’t get by on the £140,000 a year that comes with the Mayoralty must have a “very interesting lifestyle.”

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