Playing politics over City Hall venue booking

London’s Living Room, the venue space on the top floor of City Hall in the capital is out of bounds for political meetings, at least in the run up to the London Mayoral elections.

The London Evening Standard newspaper claimed an attempt by Ken Livingstone and his Labour Party team to hire the venue “to stage a stunt to highlight the hike in public transport costs” had been knocked back on political grounds.

An email from a representative of the Greater London Authority, reportedly, said: “The Mayor has decided that it would be inappropriate to allow the booking to go ahead in light of its timing in relation to the impending 2012 mayoral and Assembly elections.”

The Evening Standard claimed Labour had told City Hall it intended to hold a party meeting with high-profile speakers, including shadow Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell. The venue hire price was reportedly provisionally agreed at £2,717 before the venue got cold feet.

A spokesperson for Livingstone was quoted as saying: “Boris Johnson’s arbitrary decision to ban Labour is another example of a Tory Mayor who is on the run and out of touch”.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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