Former London mayor faces new investigation

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says Ken Livingstone faces new investigation into his anti-Semitic comments.

Elad Benari ,

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Reuters

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that former London mayor Ken Livingstone faces a new investigation into his comments about Adolf Hitler, the BBC reported.

On Tuesday, Labour suspended Livingstone for another year over the comments he made a year ago that Hitler supported Zionism.

He has repeatedly refused to apologize for the comments, even after being harangued as a "racist, Hitler-apologist" by an MP from his own party.

On Wednesday, Corbyn said that since being suspended on Tuesday, Livingstone had "continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action".

These will now be considered by the party's ruling executive committee, he added.

Following a disciplinary panel hearing on Tuesday which continued his suspension, Livingstone said he had been "suspended for stating the truth", criticized the disciplinary process, said his comments had been misreported by the media and repeated his view that Hitler "did a deal with the Zionists."

He also accused his critics of "lies and smears", according to the BBC.

Corbyn, who had been considered a longstanding ally of the former London mayor, said on Wednesday, "Ken Livingstone's comments have been grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community.”

"Labour's independently elected National Constitutional Committee has found Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and suspended him for two years,” he continued.

"It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologize for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.”

"Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party's disciplinary bodies. But Ken's subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members," Corbyn stressed.

Livingstone is one of dozens of Labour members who have been suspended and expelled from the Labour party over the past year, when the British media began scrutinizing the proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents within Labour.

Corbyn himself has come under fire from the local Jewish community, due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

A report released in October determined that the Labour party’s leadership is failing to seriously confront the anti-Semitism among its ranks.



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