Changing of the Guard for British Gov’t
Posted on May 2, 2008
To say it was a politically interesting week would be a case of British understatement: London gained a new mayor—Boris Johnson, who beat incumbent Ken Livingstone to become the first Conservative to win the office—and Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party took a drubbing in local elections across the U.K. on May Day.
Mr Livingstone’s defeat ends what Gordon Brown has called as a “bad” day for Labour in which it suffered its worst council results for 40 years.
He thanked the Labour Party for all its help with his campaign, adding: “There is absolutely nothing that I could have asked from the Labour Party that it didn’t throw into this election, from Gordon Brown right the way down to the newest recruit, handing out leaflets on very wet, cold days.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get an extra few points that would take us to victory and the fault for that is solely my own. You can’t be mayor for eight years and then if you don’t at third term say it was somebody else’s fault. I accept that responsibility and I regret that I couldn’t take you to victory.”
Conservative Party leader David Cameron praised Mr Johnson for a “serious and energetic campaign” and said his party was “winning the battle of ideas”.
AP photo / Alastair Grant
Boris the mayor: The Associated Press describes London’s newly elected mayor, Boris Johnson, as “a shaggy-haired, party-loving Tory, a product of Britain’s most snobbish schools, famous for his gaffes, his wit ... and for being famous.”