Ken Livingstone, the former London Mayor, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease his family has announced.
78-year-old Mr Livingstone is being “well cared for by his family and friends” as he lives a “private life” in retirement, his family said in a statement.
Mr Livingstone became the first directly elected mayor of London in 2000, a role he held for eight years.
His family said: “In response to media inquiries, the Livingstone family today announce that Ken Livingstone, ex-MP for Brent and former mayor of London, has been diagnosed with and is living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Although a previously prominent public figure, Ken is now retired and lives a private life.
“Ken is being well cared for by his family and friends and we ask you for your understanding and to respect his privacy and that of his family.”
Kate Lee, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are really sorry to hear that Ken Livingstone is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
“We can see from the high profile individuals who have recently spoken about their dementia diagnosis, including Alastair Stewart and Fiona Phillips amongst others, how prevalent dementia is. One in three people born in the UK today will go on to develop this devastating condition.
“We’re grateful to Ken’s family for being open about his diagnosis which will really help increase public understanding. It’s crucial we get people talking because a problem of this scale won’t go away on its own.
“Receiving a diagnosis can be daunting, but we believe it’s better to know. Our website alzheimers.org.uk has plenty of resources, including a downloadable symptoms checklist that people can take with them to their GP.