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  Labour candidates challenge City bankers' elite that runs Square Mile
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ContributorNew Jerusalem 
Last EditedNew Jerusalem  Feb 06, 2009 07:24am
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MediaNewspaper - Guardian
News DateFriday, February 6, 2009 01:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLabour is to fight to break the grip of a bankers' elite controlling the City of London by putting up for the first time a slate of party candidates to run the Corporation of London, the unusual democratic body that lobbies on behalf of the City and runs the Square Mile's amenities.

It will be the first time Labour has put up candidates for the corporation's governing body, the common council, but Labour believes the regulatory failure revealed by the credit crunch demands breaking the old boys' network running the City.

The Labour campaign is being backed by Richard Caborn and the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, the leaders of Labour's Go Fourth campaign, which is fighting for a fourth term of government.

Peter Kenyon, a member of the Labour national executive and a resident in the City, said: "We are determined to use this opportunity to highlight what is wrong with the established governance of the City of London, and how its largely unaccountable leaders have brought Britain into recession.

"We have now seen how the deregulatory model has had a terrible effect on the British economy."

The Labour manifesto promises to "fight for hard-working people who enable the city to function: the cleaners, the administrators, the community nurses, the receptionists, the shop workers and the vast majority of middle managers and City workers - but who never benefit from City bonuses".

One goal will be to persuade the corporation to require contractors to introduce a London living wage, a minimum of £7.74 an hour. Labour also promises to campaign for a fair tax and benefit system.

The party is aiming to take as many as 10 seats on the 100-strong common council, the democratically elected body responsible for overseeing the policy, amenities and assets of the corporation, including Hampstead Heath, the Barbican and Epping Forest.

The elections, due next month, are held every four years and the corporation has traditionally tried to prevent pa
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