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Kenneth Robert Livingstone
Ken Livingstone - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008.jpg
At the World Economic Forum, 26 January 2008
1st Mayor of London
In office
4 May 2000 – 4 May 2008
Deputy Nicky Gavron 2004-2008
Jenny Jones 2003-2004
Nicky Gavron 2000-2003
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Boris Johnson
Leader of the Greater London Council
In office
Preceded by John Wilson
Succeeded by Office abolished
In office
Preceded by Horace Cutler
Succeeded by John Wilson
Member of Parliament
for Brent East
In office
11 June 1987 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Reg Freeson
Succeeded by Paul Daisley
Majority 23,748 (67.33%)
Personal details
Born (1945-06-17) 17 June 1945 (age 77)
Lambeth, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour (1968-2016, suspended)
Spouse(s) Christine Chapman
(m. 1973-1982, divorced)
Emma Beal (m. 2009-present)
Children 2 sons, 3 daughters

Kenneth Robert Livingstone (born 17 June 1945) is a British socialist politician. He has twice held the leading political role in London local government: firstly as leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986 by the government of Margaret Thatcher, and secondly as the first Mayor of London, a post he held from its creation in 2000 until 2008. He also served as Labour Party Member of Parliament for Brent East between 1987 and 2001.

Early life

Livingstone was born in Lambeth, London, England, the son of Ethel Ada (Kennard) and Robert Moffat Livingstone who worked as a ship's master in the Merchant Navy. Livingstone has described his parents as "working class Tories".

Livingstone attended Tulse Hill Comprehensive School. He worked for eight years as a cancer research technician, between 1962 and 1970. He also trained as a teacher, qualifying in 1973, but was never active in the profession.

Livingstone joined the Labour Party in 1968 at a time when party membership was falling and few new young members were joining, and rose rapidly in the local party. He was elected to the Lambeth Borough Council in May 1971 and served as Vice-Chair of the Housing Committee from 1971 to 1973.

Personal life

He married Christine Pamela Chapman in 1973 and the marriage ended in divorce in 1982. Around that time he became involved with Kate Allen (Amnesty International UK), now director of Amnesty International in the UK, but the couple separated in November 2001.

Livingstone and his current partner Emma Beal, have a son and a daughter. He also has three other children from previous relationships.

He is known for his enthusiasm for keeping and breeding newts.

Post-mayoral career

Ken Livingstone. Any Questions, 2016
Livingstone after a Radio 4 programme 2016

Livingstone acted as a stand-in presenter on London talk radio station LBC 97.3's Jeni Barnett for a week beginning on 30 June 2008.

On 28 August 2008, it was announced that Livingstone will be an adviser on urban planning to Caracas, Venezuela. He will act as a consultant on the capital's policing, transport and other municipal issues.

Livingstone stood for the Labour candidacy as 2012 Mayoral candidate. On 4 May 2012 Livingstone was defeated in the London 2012 Mayoral Elections by the incumbent Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party in April 2016 after he was accused of "bringing the party into disrepute" following a BBC Radio London interview.

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