Ken Livingstone grilled by Kilburn youths

Former Mayor answered questions at round table meeting

Youths in Kilburn were given the chance to quiz London Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone during a special round table meeting at a youth centre on Monday.

Mr Livingstone, who is standing for Mayor again after holding the position between 2000 and 2008, took questions from youths at the Abbey Community Centre in Belsize Road.

Among those to put their questions to him were the Somali Youth Development group from Camden and members of the youth group Music and Change.

During the meeting young people aired their views and concerns on issues including “unfair” spot checks by police and the retraction of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

They also put forward ideas for a youth forum to be implemented with an elected youth mayor to deal with young people’s concerns.

Christian Assombalonga, 21 from Rowley Way, Kilburn, who is on the board of trustees at Music and Change said he found the day a success.

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He said: “It was really important to be able to talk about some of the issues in my community.

“The youths in this country need to be given a voice otherwise they are going to get left aside.”

The politician has previously visited 26 other London borough’s as part of the London wide crusade entitled Tell Ken ahead of next years election on May 3.

Speaking to the Brent and Kilburn Times after the event, Mr Livingstone, who lives in Cricklewood, said that meetings with young people should take place more often.

He also liked and supported the idea of a youth forum.

Mr Livingstone said: “A youth forum is an amazing idea. It’s so important to get the views of young people and to show them that you are engaging with them and actually interested in what they have to say.”