He's hinted broadly at it several times, but now it's been twice confirmed. After telling me last night that reports that he'd declared his mayoral ambitions in speech he gave in Ruislip last weekend were accurate, he's now issued a statement to the Guardian to the same effect. The Guardian could quote only part of it but I have the full statement below:
"I am not going to take any definitive decision until Labour opens the nomination process after the 2010 general election. But I am in politics to get things done. As Mayor from 2000-2008 I pursued an integrated policy - economic, social, cultural and environmental - based on making London the most international and diverse city in the world.
That greatly expanded the range of choice available to Londoners and allowed not only economic success but ground breaking policies of free and subsidised travel for poorer Londoners, an almost 60 per cent decrease in racist attacks when they were rising in the rest of the country, and some of the most advanced environmental policies in the world. The fact that Labour on 1 May 2008 was 20 per cent behind nationally, its worst result for 40 years, and in London I was only 6 per cent behind, with my vote going up by over 200,000, strengthens my belief in these policies.
Obviously everyone respects the decision of the electorate. But it is already clear that Boris Johnson's Tory regime is one of decline of London - economic decline, social decline, cultural decline, and environmental decline. This is the real root of the incompetence it has shown in its first two months in office. I believe this will become increasingly obvious and therefore I will use the normal methods of democratic debate to convince electors that the previous policies were successful and the new ones will fail.
My priority at present is to prevent the disaster for Britain, in particular for the less well off, of a Tory government in 2010. But if a Mayoral election were held tomorrow I would put my name forward for it and if nothing changes I will put my name forward to run in 2012. Meanwhile I will continue to point out the decline of London under Boris Johnson."
Is Livingstone challenging a good idea? Cif is running a poll.