"On May 1 London will elect a mayor. It will either be Ken Livingstone or Boris Johnson. Ken Livingstone is not perfect. Show us a politician who is. But he is not just a serious and skilled politician compared to almost any rival - especially the horror and embarrassment of the Boris Johnson alternative - Livingstone is a standard bearer for real progressive politics.Those Londoners who want to help Ken, can join his team here. There is also an excellent critique of his opponent's media cronies here.
That is why this election matters to the nation, not just the capital. Livingstone represents a hope that something better is possible; that a different type of society is not just some pipedream of the left, but can be created. This is the reason he is under such severe attack.
The Conservatives see a Johnson victory as a springboard to beat Labour at the next general election. They are piling in with every resource to make it happen - not least the negative campaigning skills of the Australian Lynton Crosby. The lead attack dog is, of course, the Daily Mail group's Evening Standard. It is being used as a battering ram, not just against Ken Livingstone, but against the ideals of a more democratic, egalitarian and sustainable politics.
This is not the freedom and independence of the press but the disfigurement of the fourth estate into a blatant propaganda machine. So a battle is being waged in the country and it is time to stand and fight to ensure that Livingstone wins so that the ideals of democracy, equality and sustainability endure and are given new hope".
Professor Ruth Lister
Neal Lawson Chair, Compass
Jon Cruddas MP
Jon Tickett MP
Sunder Katwala Fabian Society
Gemma Tumelty NUS
Update - A longer version of this letter and a longer list of supporters can be found here.