I fathered babies for two women friends, says former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone (through "Natural" insemination)
22nd October 2011
Ken Livingstone has revealed he acted as a sperm donor for two friends who feared they were running out of time to have children.
The former Mayor of London said the pair wanted to start families but had not found Mr Right.
And the 66-year-old hinted they did not use artificial insemination – suggesting he slept with the women while living with his then partner, Kate Allen.
In a further bizarre twist, he said he regularly went on holiday with the two women, his wife and all of their children at once.
Three years ago it emerged that Mr Livingstone had five children, rather than just the two he has with his wife as had been thought.
Now, in his memoir You Can’t Say That, he has revealed details of the unconventional set up which led to the birth of his first three children.
His first children – two daughters – were born to journalist Philippa Need in 1990 and 1992.
Just weeks after his second daughter was born, political activist Janet Woolf gave birth to his first son in the same north London hospital.
At the time, he was in a long-term relationship with Kate Allen, UK director of Amnesty International. The couple lived together between 1982 and 2001.
He went on to have a son and a daughter – in 2002 and 2004 – with journalist Emma Beal, whom he married in 2009.
Mr Livingstone writes that Miss Need, whom he had known for 12 years, ‘was very keen to have children, although she had not found the right partner and the clock was ticking.
‘We had never been involved romantically but I knew her well enough to know she would be a wonderful mother and so I said I would like to be the father of her children.’
He met Miss Woolf in the early 1990s, when he was a Labour MP for Brent East and she was a local Labour activist.
He writes that she had recently separated from her husband, adding: ‘They decided not to have children, but Jan changed her mind and we agreed to have a baby.’
More than a decade later he had children with Miss Beal.
And he said he holidayed with all three women and their children, ‘with all of us packing off every summer to Devon, Derbyshire, Greece, Spain or France’.
In an interview with the Guardian Weekend magazine, he said: ‘That’s as much detail as we want to go into… I don’t think it implies artificial insemination.’
He also failed to mention whether Miss Allen was aware of his relationships with two other women.
Three years ago Mr Livingstone said he would never outline the details of his relationships, saying: ‘I will go to my grave not talking about my private life.’
And he added: ‘No one has ever found anything in my private life that was illegal or immoral.’