Timeline: Ken Livingstone’s career in politics

The news that Ken Livingstone, a figurehead in the Labour Party for 40 years, is ‘living with Alzheimer’s Disease’ follows a highly successful but divisive career in politics.

Here is a timeline of the key moments of his life and career:

– 17 June 1945: Ken Livingstone born in south London.

– 1969: Mr Livingstone joins the Labour Party.

– 1971: He is elected to Lambeth Borough Council.

– 1973: He gains a seat on the Greater London Council (GLC).

Ken Livingstone as GLC leader leading a march through London to demonstrate in support of public transport subsidies (PA)

– 1981: Labour take control of the GLC and Mr Livingstone is elected leader.

– 1986: After several high-profile clashes with Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government, the GLC is abolished.

– 1987: Mr Livingstone is elected MP for Brent East.

– 2000: He stands against official Labour candidate Frank Dobson to become Mayor of London.

– 2004: He wins the post again after being allowed back into the Labour fold.

– 2006: A High Court judge finds Mr Livingstone had made “unnecessarily offensive” and “indefensible” remarks likening a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. But he is cleared of bringing the office of mayor into disrepute.

London Mayoral election
Ken Livingstone gives a speech in City Hall, London after Boris Johnson was re-elected Mayor of London (Lewis Whyld/PA)

– 2008: Mr Livingstone loses City Hall to Tory Boris Johnson.

– 2012: He is again beaten to the mayor’s job by Mr Johnson.

– 2016: He is suspended from the Labour Party for claiming Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s “before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.

– 2017: The former mayor avoids expulsion from the Labour Party at a disciplinary hearing, but is suspended for another year.

– March 2018: His suspension is extended again as new disciplinary probe launched.

– May 2018: Mr Livingstone resigns from Labour.

– January 2022: He applies to join the Green Party but his application is rejected.

– 20 September 2023: Mr Livingstone’s family confirm that he is living with Alzheimer’s Disease.