Ken Livingstone was born into a working-class family in South London. In his early 20s he became interested in politics, swiftly rising through the Labour party to run the GLC. He went on to become MP for Brent and wrote a popular restaurant column for the Evening Standard.
In 2000 he became the inaugural Mayor of London and served two terms. He was praised for integrating London’s transport networks, improving social justice and supporting minority rights. In 2005 he led the team which brought home the Olympics and was widely lauded, even by his opponents, for his leadership following the 7/7 bombings.