Andrew Gilligan: ‘I admit I’m a Ken hater’

6:56 pm - April 18th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    

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Hardly an observation many of you will be surprised to hear, but at least even Andrew Gilligan admits it today:

As a convinced Ken-hater, perhaps I, like so many of my media colleagues, should be hyping up the independent mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.

She’s clearly on the left and will thus take more votes from Livingstone than from anyone else. But I object to the note of entitlement which runs through her candidacy.

So we can expect complete impartiality from him on Ken’s campaign then? Yeah right.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

1. Barrington Womble

STOP PRESS: Journalist at right-of-centre newspaper has right-of-centre views.

what a silly post.

He’s a columnist, writing for a right wing newspaper. I don’t like him*, but I don’t expect him to be impartial either.

I hope you don’t think this blog is impartial then?

* actually I’ll always respect him for the Kelly affair, and it saddens me to see him plumb the depths of becoming Bojo’s cheerleader

Journalist at right-of-centre newspaper has right-of-centre views.

Actually he’s always claimed to be left-of-centre, and has also claimed to be an impartial reporter on London politics.

Sunny, if even left-of-centre people support Boris out of pure hatred for Ken, that is not a good sign for Labour.

And if Gilligan tells the truth as he sees it he is being impartial, whether he hates Ken or not.

5. Mike Homfray

I would have thought the fact Gilligan is not voting for Ken is a very good reason to support him

He’s right wing, just won’t admit to it

Meanwhile the Graun and Indy’s 2008 “Why Boris is a fascist bastard and if you don’t vote Ken you’ve shown you misunderstand democracy”-fests were passed as kosher by Sunny, clutching his pearls at the idea a journalist or a newspaper might have their own views.

Who knows, maybe Gilligan genuinely is a left-winger who hates Livingstone for betraying his party and any left-wing principles he ever had, multiple times?

Sunny is just upset because Gilligan is doing a much better job than him. Gilligans articles are more believeable because he backs up his claims against Ken with evidence, and also pulls up Boris for porkies….though lets face it, Ken really is way ahead in that count. Sunny’s articles just come over as naked propaganda, slightly detached from reality, and much to his clear annoyance, aren’t changing the game in favour of Ken.

The private health care thing is hilarious. Ken must have launched his campaign by tripping over a black cat under a ladder in a mirror factory.

9. Chaise Guevara


“Actually he’s always claimed to be left-of-centre,”

He’s also claimed that has Kelly interview notes were genuine and that he doesn’t use sock puppets on the internet.

11. Shatterface

Actually he’s always claimed to be left-of-cente

I think Ken – legitimately – once made the same claim. And my girlfriend at the time had a poster of George Michael.

Sunny – your coverage of the mayoral campaign has of course been a model of impartiality and weighing up both sides.

Sadly, someone gets to that copy and edits it so that you come across as a total partisan for Ken Livingstone, glossing over his mistakes, cheering as he doesn’t drop behind the polls as much as he could and making the best case you can for him while all the highlighting Boris Johnson’s faults and errors.

In fact, crude observers might call you Ken’s unpaid Alistair Campbell, or even a propagandist for the man.

I could supply the links that show this trend, but I think link-heavy posts get treated as spam.

However, those who have read around these parts will probably have got the idea that you very much want Ken Livingstone to win the election for London’s mayor and have used this blog to fight for this outcome.

So consequently your taking issue with Andrew Gilligan does smack a little of pot-kettle-black formula.

Here’s my take fwiw


“Sunny is just upset because Gilligan is doing a much better job than him. Gilligans articles are more believeable because he backs up his claims against Ken with evidence, and also pulls up Boris for porkies”.

1. What “evidence”? 2. Gilligan “pulls up Boris for porkies”? How so? He spends much of his time attacking Ken. You’ll have to do much better than that, me auld fruit.


Yet, most of the press (which is Tory-owned) is decidedly anti-Ken. I think Sunny is offering some much-needed balance. Of course, I don’t expect you to see or to understand that.

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 buddyhell

The problem isn’t that Sunny’s biased, it’s that he’s biased yet waving around another person’s admission of bias like some kind of smoking gun. There’s nothing wrong with LC gunning for its chosen side, but the hypocrisy of the OP is breathtaking.

Only once in 1997 did the tories experience what it is like to have the written media turned on them, and they did not like it up them. John Major is still whining about 15 years later. And the result was the tories removed from power in a landslide..

There was a reason Thatcher doled out honours to Fleets streets finest,and it was nothing to do with honesty. The tories want an obedient, and right wing media. That is why they do so much to undermine more balanced media like the BBC. And why it will be the Right wing and their corporate masters who will eventually take control of the internet, and purge any criticism of their actions.

Only once in 1997 did the tories experience what it is like to have the written media turned on them, and they did not like it up them.

Actually 2001 was far more extreme. Only the Telegraph and the Mail endorsed the Tories. Everyone else was pro-Labour, even the Express(!).

18. Margin4Error

Gilligan hasn’t been a proper journalist for a long time. The Dr Kelly thing rightly killed his career because no self-respecting professional journalist lets themself be carried by their hate of one side or another into lying about them and reporting without good evdence, and then grassing surreptitiously on who their source was.

However, his anti-Ken stuff is not as big a deal this election as it was last time. This time it’s in the Telegraph – so he can be as right wing as he likes. Last time it was in the Evening Standard, which when it became the monopoly newspaper for London was charged with maintaining an impartial political stance.

The Telegraph is of course read mainly by tories – and while the Standard has never been genuinely impartial, it is legally required to pretend. It is also economically bound to try to pretend, hence it effectively went bust after the last election when half of Londoners simply refused to touch it anymore. (It re-launched with appologetic adverts and a free format in order to continue to exist)

He’s been an right wing loon for a long time – he writes for an appropriate paper for right wing loons to write for now. All is as it should be.

19. Margin4Error


Not entirely “pro-Labour”

When studies were done on the extent to which articles were pro or anti one party or another, although only the telegraph and Mail were outright pro-tory, most papers, including the Sun and the Express were remarkably neutral in coverage – despite formally coming out for Labour.

The Mirror and the Guardian were the strong Labour papers – as was normal – though the Times was more so than it had been in the past.

@15 Chaise Guevara

I don’t understand your point and you seem to be nitpicking for the sake of it.

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 buddyhell

If you don’t understand my point, how would you know if I’m nitpicking?

I’m saying the problem isn’t bias per se. It’s hypocrisy. I have no problem with a political commenter being biased. What I have a problem with is a biased commenter criticising other people for being biased. You see? The problem is Sunny condemning Gilligan for behaving in exactly the same way as Sunny.

22. the madmullahofbricklane

It is not necessary to be right wing to hate Livingstone. I am left wing and think he is a massive liability to Labour being elected nationally. The sooner he loses and disappears the better so that Labour can start to get its act together. Interesting stuff from Gilligan on about vote rigging in Tower Hamlets.

23. Margin4error


You don’t have to be right wing to hate Ken – and as everyone knows, Tower Hamlets is the most rotten borough in the UK, with corruption and criminality right across their local political scene. (I genuinely think Labour should remove its franchise from the north of that borough – such is the disgusting practice so widely known)

But Gilligan is right wing.

The most obvious tell, in this regard, is the hatred he has displayed over the years for just about everyone attached to the left, and the complete lack of equivelent bile towards those attached to the right.

Of course one might argue that at heart he was left wing but he sold out because only right wing papers will pay for his services – but one can surely only be judged on one’s actions – and be it for money or love – he is thus right wing.

24. the madmullahofbricklane


One of the things that both right and left do, and they become more extreme the further they go in either direction, is to believe that they and only they have a monopoly on the truth and morality.

I always vote Labour in elections but cannot and will not vote for Livingstone. I have on my desk his election manifesto which is, to be charitable and that is difficult, being economical with the truth. He cannot ,without either bankrupting London or getting major legislation through a Tory government, deliver any of them and he must know it.

No city actually needs a Mayor and Tower Hamlets less than the others. Johnson hasn’t done a bad job and has certainly cleaned up a load of the mess left by Livingstone turfing out his £100,000 a year cronies and scrapping wastes of public money like the Rise Festival. The only rise there was the one being taken out of Londoners.

Livingstone has no lasting legacy that he can point to as an achievement except that millions of pounds of our money was wasted on vanity projects. He pandered to ethnic voters last time knowing that ordinary white working class voters had deserted him. He allowed Lee Jasper and co to steal millions from Londoners all of which was exposed by Gilligan and which has never been refuted. He is now doing the same with the Muslim vote particularly in East London.

He put up fares by at least the same amounts as Johnson and is now lying about it. He claimed to have introduced the travel card when it was done by a previous administration.

Crime in London particularly black on black crime rocketed under him and he denies it. Actually go through his six point programme and explain how any of it is possible without bankruptcy and or new legislation. When someone does that I will debate with them. Remember it is not a question of left and right but of practicalities and what is possible.

25. the madmullahofbricklane

I have just had drop through the door a whole wadge of glossy Livingstone propaganda leaflets, eight to be exact, which shows that his tiny band of activists are resorting to just getting rid of the stuff.

On the front it says ” Save £1000 with a Tube, Bus, DLR and Tram Fare cut”. There is of course no explanation of how this is to be achieved. He is claiming 11% off bus fares, 7% off fares generally which in some unexplained fashion will add up to the £1000 saving for the average fare-payer.

I always disliked statistics at school but at least I understand them. Livingstone’s evidence for all of his claims is the worst pie chart I have ever seen. With no explanations whatsoever it says that it is based on the latest TfL accounts.

This is total voodoo economics of the worst kind. Complete and utter populism. Lastly he says he will resign if he hasn’t cut fares by October 7th. Being the slimy person he is, as slimy as his newts, he will of course cut fares and then hike them massively next year when the system faces bankruptcy.

You don’s have to resign Ken. Just pull out of the race and do us all a favour.

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Michael Bater

    Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  2. sunny hundal

    Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  3. Alexander Wallace

    He's also a cunt! RT @leftlinks: Liberal Conspiracy – Andrew Gilligan: ‘I admit I’m a Ken hater’

  4. Padbrit

    RT @Markfergusonuk: Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  5. Roger Bliss

    Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  6. kevinrye

    Andrew Gilligan: 'I admit I'm a Ken hater'

  7. Jason Brickley

    Andrew Gilligan: ‘I admit I’m a Ken hater’

  8. Rep in the Regions

    Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  9. CllrKieranFalconer

    Gilligan admits he hates Ken. In other news, Pope admits being quite a fan of Jesus

  10. BevR

    Andrew Gilligan: 'I admit I'm a Ken hater'

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