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Bloomberg snubbed Livingstone?

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2007-03-15

Ken Livingstone

Ken Livingstone

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has come under attack from London Assembly Conservatives over suggestions that comments Livingstone made to a Jewish reporter in 2005 resulted in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg snubbing him officially.

According to a BBC News report, the Conservatives cited a memo in which it was commented that Bloomberg was "too busy" to see Livingstone on his last visit to New York.

It cites the reason could be due to "possible relation to bad reputation among Jewish press".

But a spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority said such a memo "had never been seen by the mayor nor any of his officials".

In 2005, Livingstone was approached by Evening Standard reporter Oliver Finegold who wanted a comment on an event the Mayor had attended that night. When confronted, the Mayor compared Finegold to a German war criminal and then further suggested the reporter was like a concentration camp guard.

Despite the claims of no formal meetings between the two mayors, Livingstone did reveal that he has had an unofficial meeting with Bloomberg to discuss the 2012 Olympics.

"The documents produced by the Mayor's own officers paint a truly worrying picture of the decision process," said Richard Barnes, deputy leader of the London Assembly Conservatives. "By not putting London before his own political beliefs, Livingstone has and will continue to damage London as a major world city."

The spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority further added as to origins of the memo that it was "not a document produced by any department of the GLA, it has not been approved by any body or responsible officer in the GLA, nor does it represent the policy of the GLA".

She attacked the Conservatives claims by stating: "If this is the level of material that is being produced as 'evidence' it is because those raising it cannot deal with the success of the Mayor."