August 22, 2009

Ex-mayor to tie knot in London zoo

Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, plans to marry his longtime partner at the zoo in a pavilion next to the reptile house.

Livingstone and Emma Beal have been involved with each other for more than a decade and have two children. The former mayor announced his wedding plans Friday, The Independent reported.

We have been looking to get married for years, Livingstone said. We decided this seems to be the ideal period.

After the ceremony in the Mappin Pavilion next month, guests can view whatever they want in the London Zoo for free.

A wedding can be quite boring for young kids, Livingstone said. But they can go and look at the animals. I know the place. I just like it.

As mayor, Livingstone was known as Red Ken for his left-wing politics and King Newt for his love of amphibians and reptiles. He once applied unsuccessfully to be a zookeeper and has a pet chameleon named Harry.

While he was in office, Livingstone introduced free trips to the zoo for children.