This is Una Cooze, (b. 1929 – d. 2001) a woman I had the pleasure of meeting and working closely with as she briefly worked for Ken Livingstone during 1991-1992 when his own secretary was on maternity leave. Una was the constituency secretary for Michael Foot for many years dealing with the correspondence on behalf of both MPs — writing to local authorities, government departments such as the home office, foreign office, department for work and pensions (the benefits agency as it was then known) and always writing diligently to each and every constituent that met both MPs initially having discussed their individual situations.
I met her in the offices of Norman Shaw South, which along with the Norman Shaw North Building is part of UK Parliament buildings and were, of course, more famously the seat of the Metropolitan Police as Old Scotland Yard.
She was a long-standing member of the Labour Party and an active T.U.C member and a lifelong socialist, this is probably why she remained an asset to the late great Michael Foot.
I have fond memories of talking with her and was amazed at her ability to recall each and every constituent in the Willesden (London Borough of Brent) area.
Ken Livingstone showed a very caring and emotional side of himself as he was overcome by watching a video by Londoner‘s backing his campaign. In the video members of the public implored him to do the best for London, should he become London Mayor a second time. One member of the public said in the promotional video ‘Go on Ken – do it for London!’
Mr. Livingstone who was visibly moved by the video, speaking to the Telegraph newspaper said that if he lost the electoral campaign that he would not stand again and that he would go back to doing his radio programme but added recounting his childhood :
‘if I lose the opportunity to help millions of ordinary Londoners for whom every day is now a terrible struggle. I grew up in that post-war Britain where parents had to count every penny, everything had to be used, it was a real struggle, and we are back in that world. If I fail to do that, it’s a guilt I carry to my grave. I want the chance to make life better for ordinary Londoners.’
He also has previously criticised Boris Johnson, the current Mayor, for not being present during the time that the London riots were taking place – as he had been on holiday – Mr. Livingstone saying that he had failed Londoners at their time of greatest need as their Mayor.
Ed Miliband who was also present during the screening of the video patted an overcome Ken Livingstone in support for his campaign for mayor.
For more information and to support Ken Livingstone in his campaign to be Mayor of London again please visit http://www.kenlivingstone.com/home
After last nights promice on Newsnight – the four main (Conservative, LibDem, Labour and Green Party) hopefuls for the London Mayor election have each produced details of their income and taxes. There now however is speculation over the transparency of the details produced and in particular the delay in Ken Livingstone producing his tax and income details.
GuidoFawkes.com has implied that the figures produced by the Labour candidate are only a partial summary of his income/taxes stating that it is based on personal tax/income and not his company’s tax details in full (Guido Fawkes) and that the figures were not produced by an accountant but by a former member of his team; his Climate Advisor, when he was Mayor of London.
It also raises concern over why he is paying himself through dividends rather than a salary and questioning whether Ken has been taking advantage of the National Insurance exemption in doing this.
LibDem hopeful Brian Paddick not only produced his full tax return over the last three years but in a slight oversight in his attempt to produce these figures neglected to shield the details of his personal National Insurance and home address for the public to view. Boris Johnson also had produced his tax details showing he paid 45.1 per cent of his income in tax in 2010/2011, a rise from 36.8 per cent in 2009/10.
On the Ken4London site the following statement has been produced to cut fares has been produced and a letter from his team to the parties concerning the details of Ken’s income and tax posted as this article goes to press.
The spectator online magazine have accused the Ken and his Labour team of silence in the delay of the details accusing his team of not answering the why the details were not ealier forthcoming. The Labour team had put out the following statement
‘We believe household publication is necessary for full disclosure as the question of Ken’s income and his wife’s income and their tax has been central the coverage of this issue. Publication of Ken’s returns alone will not address many of the questions that have been raised. The only way to answer all the questions about this issue and to move the debate on the real issues facing London is for full household income disclosure. This should apply to all the candidates equally to avoid any further questions about the income and tax affairs that may or may not be applicable to them through their households. The same principles need to be applied to all the candidates if this process is to be seen as open and fair.”