British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to say whether the movement will kick out one of its biggest offenders in terms of anti-Semitism, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, JTA reported Monday.
The incident occurred Sunday as Corbyn spoke about Livingstone and other issues connected to allegations of anti-Semitism in his party during a debate with Owen Smith, who is challenging Corbyn for the party’s leadership, at London’s JW3 Jewish community center.
Livingstone caused an uproar several months ago when he told the BBC in an interview that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism – comments which resulted in his suspension from Labour.
When asked by a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews whether Labour intends to expel Livingstone, Corbyn was circumspect at Sunday's debate which was attended by hundreds.
“OK, Ken Livingstone was suspended for the remarks he made, he’s under investigation, due process will follow,” Corbyn said, according to JTA.
Smith then said he suspected Livingstone will be allowed back into the party.
Livingstone, of course, is not the only offender, as dozens of Labour members have been suspended and several expelled from the Labour party since February, when the British media began scrutinizing the proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents within Labour.
Corbyn himself has been under fire by 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.
He recently, however, took back those earlier comments.
Last month, British Jewish leaders dismissed an internal party report about the problem as a "whitewash" and accused Corbyn of rewarding the author by appointing her as a lawmaker.
Corbyn reiterated during the debate his commitment to opposing all forms of racism.