Former London Mayor: The Jewish vote wasn't very helpful

Ken Livingstone, who was ousted from Labour over anti-Semitic remarks, hints Jewish vote contributed to Labour's defeat.

Elad Benari,

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Reuters

Former London Mayor and Labour MP Ken Livingstone on Thursday night appeared to blame "the Jewish vote" for contributing to the Labour party’s loss in the election.

An exit poll showed that the Labour party is projected to fall to 191 seats – its lowest number since the 1930s – while Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are headed for a majority of 368 seats.

In an interview, Livingstone predicted that the brutal election result is "the end" for Laobur leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying Corbyn paid the price for several aspects of his campaign, including not taking more action against anti-Semitism.

"The Jewish vote wasn't very helpful. Jeremy should have tackled that issue far earlier than he did,” said Livingstone.

"It looks like the end for Jeremy, which is disappointing for me since I'm a close ally. I'm sure he'll have to resign tomorrow,” he added. Corbyn indeed announced on Thursday night he would not lead Labour in the next elections.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg noted Livingstone's choice of words about the "Jewish vote" and predicted it "may well cause some eyebrows to shoot up".

Corbyn has faced ongoing accusations of anti-Semitism, both over his history of hostility towards Israel and support for anti-Israel terrorist groups, as well as the rise in anti-Jewish rhetoric within the party.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements in recent years, while the party has been criticized for its failure to deal with the anti-Semitism within it.

Livingstone himself is one of those Labour members who were shown the door over anti-Semitism.

The former London Mayor was suspended from the Labour party in April of 2016 after he asserted that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s.

The party later extended the suspension until the conclusion of an internal probe into his conduct over allegations that his claims were anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive to Jews.

Livingstone then repeated the claims that got him suspended from Labour before quitting the party in May of last year.

Livingstone was at it again this past March, when he insisted that it is “not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel”.




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