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NPR's Morning Edition
Broadcast 23/02/2000, Story 9

And clinton them race for mayor of london is turning into something of an embarrassment for the government of prime minister tony blair yesterday britain's upper chamber of the house of lords rejected the government measure that would deny candidates seeking the mayor's post for mailing campaign literature for free this another setback for the prime minister could force a postponement of the elections scheduled for may fourth n. p. r.'s julie mccarthy reports

Free mailing privileges are closely guarded perk on capitol hill in washington and it would be a boost to any candidate in the hotly contested race for london's mayor

The opposition says contenders must be allowed to send promotional material something on to londoners doormat the government says it would cost too much in a stormy three hour debate story and liberal democratic peers insisted that the traditional free mail shot was vital to encourage democracy and increased turnout by giving parties direct access to the voters

The opposition also accused the government of seeking to ban free mail because it might give a free publicity to the candidate of the labor party loves to hate ken livingston

Known affectionately as a red candle as the former head of the greater london council livingstone's leftist leanings were such a source of irritation to then prime minister margaret thatcher she disbanded the council tony blair seems to have extended as much energy on the railing redskins candidacy as he has on persuading threatened to get on board the euro

Livingston's enduring popularity has proved a huge headache for labor rights

He leaves every opinion poll and he's likely to run as an independent having just lost the labor nomination on sunday one recent poll shows livingston would draw a third of the vote from conservatives

Michael brown is a former conservative m. p. have to look at it through the eyes of stories like me for example to remember rich and giving margaret thatcher pullback grief ten to fifteen years ago it was illegal and impatient and optical desire to see how we can ah do something deeper that's what he did for um but margaret thatcher downing street was also force last night to deny reports that it had drawn up plans to get its current nominee

The bill and former health minister frank dobson would be thrown over for the labor party's best loved female member panel mullen if livingston citizen independent mowlam the former northern ireland secretary is quoted as saying she wouldn't turn it down in toronto offer julie mccarthy n. p. r. news london

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