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Livingstone to miss MIPIM following suspension

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The world of property and architecture has begun to feel the effects of London Mayor Ken Livingstone's suspension from office on Friday.

Livingstone's month-long ban, which will coincide with this year's MIPIM, will impact profoundly on the international conference, one of its key figures claimed this morning.

Pipers director Nick McKeogh, one of the organisers of the London stand, said that Livingstone was an 'important part of MIPIM'.

But McKeogh insisted that the mayor's absence would not hold the event back.

He continued: 'Although it's the one part of the year when he interacts with the property industry, there's a lot more to MIPIM than Ken Livingstone.'

Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron is likely to step into the breach to fill Livingstone's diary obligations, including those between 14 and 17 March, when MIPIM is due to be held in the south of France.

Livingstone is known to want to contest his suspension - which came after alleged inflammatory remarks to a London Evening Standardreporter last year - in the High Court.

Gavron said on Friday: 'It has been blown out of all proportion. What Londoners care about most are issues like safer streets, more buses and a cleaner environment.'

by Rob Sharp

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