Newslinks | 28th September 2007

The NewsEditor

Safety Dispute Delays Tube Lines The Evening Standard carries the full story of the safety dispute which caused severe delays on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and District lines yesterday, and promises to do so again today.

From the article:

"...the unions had acted after a driver reported a fault with the dead man's handle.

Union officials said that the train could start without the handle being reset, compromising the system. Emergency inspections then found the fault on four trains. The red, white and blue trains on the three lines were designed more than 30 years ago."

Ken & Boris: A timeline

The Guardian carries an excellent timeline of Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson's key achievements since just before the first Mayoral election - reprinted in full below:

January 2000: Frank Dobson, backed by Tony Blair, beats "red" Ken Livingstone in the poll to see who will stand as Labour's candidate for London mayor despite Mr Livingstone winning 59.9% of votes among party members. A controversial electoral college system gives added weight to the votes of MPs and hands victory to Mr Dobson.

March 2000: Mr Livingstone announces he will run as an independent and is subsequently expelled from the Labour party.

May 2000: Mr Livingstone is elected as London Mayor, beating Steven Norris, the former Conservative transport secretary, while Mr Dobson finishes third.

February 2003: The congestion charge is introduced, probably Mr Livingstone's most significant, and controversial, policy to date.

November 2003: Mr Livingstone describes US president George Bush as "the greatest threat to life on the planet".

January 2004: Mr Livingstone rejoins the Labour party.

April 2004: Mr Livingstone tells the Guardian that he "longed for the day" the Saudi royal family is hanged.

June 2004: Mr Livingstone, now the official Labour candidate, once again comfortably sees off the challenge of Steven Norris to be elected for a second term.

October 2004: Mr Johnson, then editor of Spectator, is forced to apologise for an unsigned editorial which accuses the people of Liverpool of wallowing in their "victim status" over the execution of Ken Bigley in Iraq.

November 2004 Michael Howard sacks Mr Johnson from the Conservative frontbench for failing to tell the truth about claims that he had an affair

February 2005: Mr Livingstone compares Oliver Finegold, a Jewish reporter from the London Evening Standard, to a concentration camp guard.

July 2005: In the wake of the terror attacks on the capital's transport system Mr Livingstone is widely praise for rallying Londoners to defy extremists.

February 2006 Mr Livingstone is suspended for four weeks by the adjudication panel for England for bringing his office into disrepute with his comments to Mr Finegold and his failure to apologise for them. The decision is suspended pending a high court ruling.

September 2006: Writing in the Daily Telegraph Mr Johnson compares discord within the Labour party to "cannibalism and chief-killing" in Papua New Guinea and is forced to apologise to Papua New Guinea.

October 2006: The high court overturns the verdict of the adjudication panel and Mr Livingstone's suspension. The same month Mr Johnson allegedly criticises TV chef Jamie Oliver's campaign for healthier school dinners at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference. He is quoted as saying: 'If I was in charge, I'd get rid of Jamie Oliver and tell people to eat what they liked." He later claims he was misquoted.

February 2007: Mr Livingstone signs a deal with controversial Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez for cheap fuel for London buses in exchange for help with urban planning.

April 2007: Writing in men's magazine GQ, Mr Johnson describes Portsmouth as "one of the most depressed towns in southern England" and full of "drugs, obesity and underachievement". This time he refuses to apologise.

July 2007: After much speculation and amid a media frenzy Mr Johnson finally announces that he is to stand to be the Tory candidate for London mayor, promising to be "frank and candid".

September 2007: At the official launch of his campaign to be the Tory candidate he promises to focus on housing, transport and crime but his speech is also full of his characteristic eccentricities. He hails the "fantastic improvements" to London including the availability of mango juice at his local newsagent and describes Mr Livingstone's relationship with Mr Chávez as "completely Caracas".

September 27, 2007: Mr Johnson wins the Tory nomination for London mayor, polling more than 13,000 votes more than his nearest rival.

May 1 2008: Voters will go to the polls to decide who will be the next mayor of London.