Labour London mayoral candidate Ken Livingston has launched a personal attack on the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson over his response the rioting in London and claiming there was no difference between the rioter's behaviour and his drunken antics during his time at the Bullindgdon Club.

The former mayor used his speech at the Labour party conference in Liverpool to attack Mr Johnson, who was criticized for at the time for his delay in returning from a family holiday.

"Where was Boris Johnson when the riots happened?" Mr Livingstone asked the audience.

"He refused to come back to London. We had the crazy situation of Londoners having to demand their own mayor come back. To deal with that crisis"

Mr Livingston, who is seeking to win back the London mayoralty he lost to Johnson in 2008, also attacked the "personal example" apparently set by Mr Johnson during the riots.

"What is the difference between the rioters, and a gang of over-privileged arrogant students vandalising restaurants and throwing chairs through windows in Oxford?" he added.

"Come on Boris, you explain the moral difference between your Bullingdon vandalism and the criminality of the rioters? Frankly, neither is an example I want for my kids."

Mr Livingston also accused Boris Johnson on focusing on a "privileged minority" and suggested that Mr Johnson suggested that the Tory mayor had a personal interest in seeing the 50p rate of tax abolished.

Mr Livingstone also promised action to tackle rising transport costs so that "in every year in every part of London, inner and outer, fares will be fairer under me than they would be under a second Boris Johnson term".

He also promised a freeze on the Mayor's salary and the pay of top City Hall staff and pledged to reverse policing cuts.

He was introduced by former London minister Tessa Jowell, who gave the Labour veteran a warning about not turning the next mayoral election into a popularity contest.

"Ken, as we remember your achievements and the challenges ahead, we must make sure that the contest next May will not be just a contest of celebrity," she urged.

"It must be a campaign about who will be the most effective leader, the most effective mayor of London during these most difficult of times.