Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

Or not, actually. It’s Ken, again.

The mayor of London criticised Robert Tuttle while bemoaning the US embassy’s insistence that its diplomatic staff should not pay the congestion charge because they view it as a tax. Embassies are exempt from all local tax under the 1961 Vienna convention.

Mr Livingstone told ITV’s London Today: “It would actually be quite nice if the American ambassador in Britain could pay the charge that everybody else is paying and not actually try and skive out of it like some chiselling little crook.”

But as the article later points out,

Another 55 embassies are also refusing to pay.

So why do the Americans get singled out for special treatment?

His comments brought a fresh rebuke from opponents on the London assembly. The Conservative leader, Bob Neill, said: “This is the latest in a long line of offensive, offhand, irrational remarks. Despite his own personal opinions Livingstone needs to show respect for the office he holds. He is damaging the reputation of the mayoralty of London by his increasingly strange behaviour. He’s an embarrassment.

Couldn’t agree more.

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One Comment

  1. Oliver Hall
    Posted March 28, 2006 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I think we should be careful about taking what is said about Ken Livingstone at face value – he has no friends in his own party, nor in the opposition, and the media seem to be out for his blood too.

    The thing is, he has been elected twice as mayor of London, despite these sort of remarks. He must be doing *something* right.

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