Art auction raises £230,000 for Ken campaign

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Well-known British artists such as Anthony Gormley, Banksy and Catherine Yass donated works to an auction in London last night to raise funds for Ken Livingstone’s election campaign.

The event at the Aquarium Gallery in Farringdon raised more than £230,000.

“London’s openness and tolerance has made it one of the most creative cities in the world,” Mr Livingstone said last night.

“I am standing for re-election to maintain London’s openness and tolerance and the cultural and creative world leadership which goes with those virtues.

“I am grateful that some of the most talented artists in the world have given their support to my election, through contributing their works, tonight.”

Mr Livingstone is seeking a third term as Mayor of London, but is facing a tough battle with Tory candidate Boris Johnson and Lib Dem hopeful Brian Paddick.

Mr Paddick, formerly the most senior out gay policeman in the UK, is far behind in the polls but he has a strong lead in the celebrity stakes.

In January his friends Sir Elton John and David Furnish, probably the most famous gay couple in the world, threw a fundraising dinner where they told 20 celebrity guests why they are backing the Paddick campaign.

Hollywood star Christian Slater, comedian David Walliams, TV star Dale Winton and Tamara Mellon of Jimmy Choo fame were among those who attended.

Boris Johnson has won the backing of property developers, hedge fund managers, lobbyists and art dealers and so far has declared £339,000 in cash donations to the Electoral Commission.

Among those donating were Tim Rice, the Oscar-winning lyricist, who worked with Sir Elton on The Lion King. He gave £2,000.

Theatre impressario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, once described as “the most successful, influential and powerful producer of our time,” donated £10,000 to the Boris campaign.

Yesterday it was announced that the three leading candidates will take part in a hustings event organised by Stonewall. is the media partner for this event.

It is hoped some of the other candidates for Mayor will take part as well.

The Stonewall hustings will take place on Saturday April 19th from 11am to 12.30pm at the BFI Southbank.

The event is open to everyone, but in order to ensure a seat we are asking people to register here.