I was at the Evening Standard’s debate last night. It was fun seeing Nick Ferrari and Ken Livingstone on the same platform, no love lost there.
At the start, Livingstone came across relaxed and jovial, cracking the odd joke here and there sometimes self-deprecating. But the slick image cracked a little when passionate audience members pushed him on the congestion charge, fear of crime, his comments about Israel and the actions of Lee Jasper.
Livingstone’s answers were well rehearsed and he never lost his rag completely but I think he was expecting an easier ride from the audience, many of which were clearly his supporters.
What really struck me was despite the title of the debate being “How London can stay ahead as a great world city?” he was remarkably light on ideas. Boris has been deploying the policy ideas, worked on in the lead up to Christmas, on almost a daily basis. All Livingstone could say was I have been a good mayor (debateable) please vote for me again.