Ken was born in Lambeth in 1945 and educated at Tulse Hill Comprehensive School. After working as a technician at the Chester Beatty Cancer Research Institute in London, he entered Phillipa Fawcett Teacher Training College.
He has been a Labour councillor in Lambeth and in Camden. He became a Labour member of the Greater London Council in 1973 and became its leader in 1981, a position he held until March 1986 when Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC, ending an era in London government. The GLC’s campaign against abolition was one of the most popular political campaigns in London’s history. London-wide government was only restored in 2000.
From 1987 to June 2001, Ken was the Labour Member of Parliament for Brent East. He was elected to the position of Mayor of London in 2000 as an Independent. In 2004 he won re-election to a second term as Mayor as the Labour candidate.
He has written two books, If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It (1987) and Livingstone’s Labour (1989).
Ken was the elected Mayor of London since 2000, the first person to hold this office. In May 2008 Ken left office after being beaten in the election by Conservative candidate Boris Johnson.
Ken is now available for corporate speaking engagements. He is an entertaining and engaging speaker who can relate his experiences in office to the audience with humour and intelligence.