Blair Weighs In on London's Neck-and-Neck Mayoral Race

Ex-PM comes to aid of sworn foe Livingstone
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 7:54 AM CDT
Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, right, listens to the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone as they travel on a hybrid double-decker bus on their way to City Hall, London, Monday, Oct. 1, 2007.    (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Pool)
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(Newser) – With one week to go, the two main candidates in the race for mayor of London—maverick Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone and clownish Tory Boris Johnson—remain neck-and-neck. As the Labour Party realizes that it could lose the most important elected office in Britain, the Guardian reveals that Livingstone is receiving help from his former sworn enemies: Tony Blair and his spin doctor, Alistair Campbell.

The far-left Livingstone was booted from Labour and ran as an independent against the party's mayoral candidate in 2000, winning in a landslide. Now Blair, who once warned Livingstone would be "a disaster," is advising the mayor on how to win a third term. Livingstone has also been speaking daily to Gordon Brown, another former enemy; the PM is anxious about losing London in the first major election of his premiership.