What the papers say: Defiant Ken rides C-charge storm

Mayor Ken Livingstone stood unrepentant over his decision to extend London’s congestion charge area from 2007, despite a fierce backlash from business and transport groups, Westminster Council and London Assembly opponents.

While Livingstone admitted that his decision 'would be unpopular' (ePolitix, 30 September), he may not have been prepared for the weight of criticism that erupted with his official  announcement.

London Assembly transport spokesman Geoff Pope said the decision was simply 'the wrong scheme at the wrong time' (The Independent, 1 October), while Nick Goulding of the Forum of Private Business stated the move constituted a 'body blow for business' (eGov Monitor, 2 October).

Dan Bridgett of the London Chamber of Commerce highlighted the manner in which Livingstone dealt with his opponents' concerns, which he asserted had been 'received, understood and blatantly ignored' (The Daily Telegraph, 1 October).

Unfortunately, Livingstone was unable to answer his critics – he was reported to be 'too busy to speak to the press' (The Times,
1 October).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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