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Mayor Ken Livingstone has set the tone of his campaign for re-election by turning on four wheel drive owners in the capital.

In an interview broadcast this Sunday morning on GMTV he said, "When you see someone trying to manoeuvre it round the school gates, you have to think, you are a complete idiot".

He said the vehicles were just a status symbol for people with too much money when driven in London and that people would be better off spending their money on a holiday. They were described as totally unnecessary for the capital and the Mayor said that, whilst it was reasonable for a farmer to own one they had no place in London.

Such cars had no place in the city and were largely a status symbol for people with too much money, he added.

The Mayor's attack on 4x4 drivers comes at the start of Walk to School Week when children are being encouraged to walk at least part of their journey to school.

4x4s tend to be popular with school run mums because the higher seat positions give better visibility and improved safety in the event of a side-on collision.

May 27, 2004