Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Ken Livingstone suspended from the Labour Party for another year after Adolf Hitler and Zionism comments

Ken Livingstone says he has been suspended from the Labour Party for one year over controversial comments about Adolf Hitler and Zionism, following a disciplinary hearing in London.

The former London mayor - who has been suspended since April last year - faced a charge that he engaged in conduct which was "grossly detrimental" to the party.

It followed a radio interview in which he claimed that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s before he ''went mad and ended up killing six million Jews''.

Mr Livingstone, who had threatened to launch a judicial review if he was expelled from the party, said he would now consult with lawyers about his legal position.

The ex-mayor said earlier he had expected to be expelled because the disciplinary panel investigating the case was dominated by "right-wingers".

A Labour Party spokesman said: "The National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party has today found that all three charges of a breach of the Labour Party's rule 2.1.8 by Ken Livingstone have been found proved.

"The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for the breach of Labour Party rules will be suspension from holding office and representation within the Labour Party for two years.

"Taking account of the period of administrative suspension already served the period of suspension will end on 27 April 2018.

"The Labour Party will make no further comment on this matter."

Mr Livingstone said: "Today's Labour Party panel extended my suspension for another year because of my political views, not because I have done anything to harm the Labour Party.

"The Labour Party's disciplinary process was not in accord with natural justice in a number of ways. For example the panel hearing was not held in public, despite the fact that it could have been under Labour's rules. I was suspended for more than 11 months before the hearing was held.

"Scheduling the final day of this disciplinary hearing, on the day the Labour Party launched its campaign for the May 4 elections, was a supreme misjudgment by whoever planned this in the Labour Party headquarters.

"It was clearly not in Labour's interests as the hearing will inevitably generate unfavourable headlines at a time when Labour should be focused on campaigning.

"I will be launching a campaign to overturn my suspension of party membership."

Mr Livingstone had previously said the process was fair and said he was hopeful about its outcome.

He said: "I'm always hopeful. It's pretty fair. The injustice was actually suspending me for something I hadn't said.

"Have I said anything that wasn't true? All the Jewish activists who spoke on my behalf yesterday, all actually confirmed what I said was true.

"The big difference is that, though I said that Hitler supported Zionism, MPs like John Mann were immediately claiming that I said Hitler was a Zionist.

"That was repeated on the Jewish Chronicle website with appalling other stories saying that I said Jews were like Nazis, none of this is true. So, as long as the truth prevails, we will be OK."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph