Labour MP: Voters 'responsible' for austerity if Boris stays

Jon Trickett: 'The Tories will feel strengthened'
Jon Trickett: 'The Tories will feel strengthened'
Ian Dunt By

Voters will be responsible for austerity policies unless they vote against Boris Johnson this week, a Labour MP has claimed.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Jon Trickett said the London mayoral election offered a chance for the public to reject the economic policies of the coalition government - but that a vote for Boris would be seen as an implicit endorsement of its approach.

"The voters must not think, like [Nick] Clegg, that they can wash their hands of responsibility for their actions on Thursday if they fail to vote against the Tories," he wrote.

"Let every elector in London understand that their actions on Thursday can either accelerate the austerity or contribute to the resistance."

He added: "It is irresponsible of many in the commentariat to ignore these issues and to pretend that the mayoral election is only a battle between two personalities with no real national consequence for the wider society. Do not believe this even for a second.

"If the Tories regain the mayoralty on Thursday, they will feel emboldened to continue on their divisive course. In particular, because mayor Johnson plays a particular role as a cheerleader for the Conservative right, his wing on the Tories will feel strengthened."

The comments are unlikely to be welcomed by Labour high command but the main thrust of the argument chimes neatly with Ken Livingstone's campaign strategy over the last couple of weeks, where he has tried to turn the contest into a debate over austerity.

That approach is largely inspired by current polling, which shows Boris performing far stronger than the Conservative patty while Ken languishes behind Labour.


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