Livingstone, Ken, 1945–, British politician. Elected to the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1973 as a Labour member, he became GLC leader in 1981. His use of the local office to promote leftist policies earned him the nickname "Red Ken" and was a major factor in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's successful campaign to abolish the GLC in 1986. He was elected to Parliament as a Labour member in 1987 and became a candidate for mayor of London in 1999 after a new, Labour-controlled Parliament established an elected London mayoralty. When he was denied the Labour party nomination, Livingstone declared himself an independent candidate for the office and subsequently won the election, becoming the city's first popularly elected mayor. He was suspended (2000–2004) from the Labour party because of his maverick mayoral campaign. He was reelected in 2004, but lost his bids for a third term to Boris Johnson in 2008 and 2012. Livingstone has written If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish It (1987) and Livingstone's Labour (1989).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.