Mayor slams gay London Assembly chair

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background. Exclusive

The Mayor of London has called the Greater London Assembly (GLA) Liberal Democrats a “disgrace to their party” after voting for a Tory member to become chairman of the city wide government

Brian Coleman, an openly gay Conservative, was elected as the chairman of the GLA yesterday, prompting Ken Livingstone to criticise the Lib Dems for not taking the chance to vote for a Green Party candidate.

Mr Livingstone said: “The London Assembly Lib Dems are a disgrace to their party – they were given the chance by Labour and the Greens to vote for a Green candidate to chair the Assembly but instead they voted for a right-wing Tory.

“I don’t believe that people who voted Lib Dem wanted them to form an alliance with the Tories to install a rightwing Tory chair of the London Assembly who will oppose my policies.

“All too often the LibDems in London have shown themselves willing to back the Tories and this is the latest example.

“The majority of Londoners, including most Lib Dem voters, oppose the Tories. The Lib Dems should reflect this by working with the Labour and Green groups on the Assembly as these two groups proposed today instead of backing the Tories

Mr Coleman has often criticised the mayor, he told the mayor was wrong to invite the Islamic cleric Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as a guest of honour to City Hall. “I didn’t understand what he was doing. Mr Livingstone was off his trolley-He was simply desperate to sure up the Muslim votes.”