May 16 2011 By James Cracknell
Ken Livingstone is touring Hillingdon today (Monday) as he begins his bid to win back the London mayorality.
Following swiftly on from Boris Johnson's own flying visit to Ruislip two weeks ago, Mr Livingstone is arriving in Harefield at 10.00am.
He will be joined by his running mate, Labour Assembly Member Val Shawcross, who would be the deputy mayor should the pair triumph in next May's London elections.
They will travel to Uxbridge for 11.45am, in time for a question and answer session at Uxbridge College at 1.30pm and meetings with residents in West Drayton at 3.30pm. He will later stop at Sipson and Hayes before finishing in South Ruislip at 7.30pm for a formal public meeting at the Days Inn Hotel.
The visit is the ninth of 32 'Tell Ken' stops around London and will also see the former mayor joined by Labour group leader on Hillingdon Council, Councillor Mo Khursheed, plus Labours London Assembly candidate for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota, in a series of meetings with residents.
Mr Livingstone will try to appeal to voters in Hillingdon by talking up his opposition to High Speed Two (HS2), something Mr Johnson also did on his recent visit.
Last Friday (13), Mr Livingstone wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, Phillip Hammond, to express his concerns about the impact HS2 would have on communities across West London.
He said: "I am looking forward to spending a full day in Hillingdon, meeting residents to talk about the issues that concern them from police cuts to transport to health services.
"I know transport is a big issue for people in Hillingdon, especially the High Speed 2 proposals which threaten real disruption to communities in west London.
"I have written to the government to call for a rethink for their HS2 plans. I believe improving rail links must be a priority, but the government must show far greater consideration for the quality of life for residents and rethink the current plans for the new rail link."