London mayoral candidates attempt to woo voters in Islington
�Islington took centre stage in the race for City Hall as mayoral candidates Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick brought their campaigns to the borough.
The Labour and Lib Dem contenders both turned up on Tory rival Boris Johnson’s home turf on Friday afternoon.
Mr Livingstone appeared at Angel Tube station alongside actor Richard Wilson, of One Foot in the Grave fame, and the council’s Labour leaders, before heading to St Luke’s community centre in Central Street, Finsbury.
There he chatted to older residents about the issues that concern them and how they will be affected by the Budget.
A 75-year-old user, who lives off Bath Street, Finsbury, said: “He was very good and people were pleased to see him, although they all said he could have done with a new suit.”
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Mr Livingstone said: “It’s good to hear what they have to say and the facility itself is brilliant. You just want something like this in every ward in London.”
He told the Gazette that Islington’s voters will see fare cuts and increased police numbers if he gets elected.
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Lib Dem Mr Paddick was flanked by his party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, on a tour of the Packington Estate, off Prebend Street, Islington.
The former Met Police chief heard how the estate, which is being rebuilt by Hyde Housing Association, has shed an image as a no-go area.
Hyde’s Bernice Ramchandani said residents and police have worked together to tackle crime and transform it from a “sink estate” over the past five years.
Mr Paddick, who started his career at Holloway police station in Hornsey Road, Holloway, in the late 1970s, said: “When the police and residents stand together against the criminals, the criminals don’t stand a chance, and that’s what’s happened here.”
He pledged to increase police numbers if elected.
Mr Clegg said: “Brian is the only candidate who has the faintest clue what to do with our kids on the streets.
“He’s been out there and done it.”
The Mayor of London election is on Thursday, May 3.
Other candidates include Conservative Boris Johnson, Jenny Jones of the Green Party and independent Siobhan Benita.
The official list of candidates is due to be published tomorrow (Friday).