Opposition lawmaker elected London’s new mayor

By Xinhua,

London : The opposition Conservative Party’s Boris Johnson routed incumbent Ken Livingstone on Friday to become London’s new mayor, election officials said.

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The result is a heavy blow to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labor Party and a huge boost to the Conservatives, who have not held a high-profile national post since being defeated by Tony Blair-led Labor in the 1997 national election.

“I do hope that it does show that the Conservatives have changed into a party that can again be trusted,” Johnson said shortly after his victory.

Meanwhile, Livingstone, who ran London for eight years, tried to confine the blame to himself rather than implicate Brown.

“The fault … is soley my own. … I accept that responsibility and I regret that I couldn’t take you (Labor) to victory,” he said.

Analysts attributed Labor’s failure to grave concerns among voters over rising food and energy prices, higher mortgages and a possible housing market slump.

The victory of journalist-turned-lawmaker Johnson, 43, is likely to boost Conservatives’ chances in the mid-2010 national election.

The win in London followed Conservative gains in local councils across England and Wales in elections on Thursday.

Conservatives took 44 percent of the vote in England and Wales,20 points ahead of Labor, reported BBC.