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David Lammy: “This isn’t the right time for me.”

Lammy: Not right time

An article in last night’s Evening Standard reported that David Lammy will not be throwing his hat in the Mayoral race in 2012 because there is “not enough room in the contest for another black candidate”.

Oona King is the only black candidate so far to seek Labour’s endorsement. He did not however rule himself out from standing in the future adding “This just isn’t the right time for me.”

Mr Lammy 37, who retained his seat in Tottenham with a large majority in the general election, also endorsed the campaign of former Mayor Ken Livingstone explaining that “London needs a political heavyweight to stand up to this government. Ken is that figure. He knows City government and coalition politics inside out”.

As the battle for Mayor gets underway and as the Labour leadership contest begins to take shape, the current Mayor Boris Johnson has a more immediate battle on his hands.

Democracy village’ formed by a group of around 40 anti-war protesters has been labeled as a ‘permanent Glastonbury’ by some due to claims it is a nuisance and is causing damage to the gardens. The ‘village’ set up by the protesters includes cooking facilities, sleeping areas and lavatories.

Pete Phoenix, leader of the protesters explained they are campaigning against alleged ‘genocide’ committed by British troops in Afghanistan.

While the Mayor made the protection of civil liberties a key selling point of his 2008 campaign, Mr Johnson is thought to have instructed his staff to begin to take legal steps to remove the protesters.

The implication therefore is that it’s ok to protest, just make sure you are clean and tidy about it. Oh and do try to avoid stepping on the grass.

By Richard Sudan

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