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28 April 2016

Former mayor Ken Livingstone suspended by Labour

The former mayor of London argued that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist. 

By Henry Zeffman Henry Zeffman

Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, has been suspended by the Labour Party for “bringing the party into disrepute”, after at least 35 Labour MPs, including mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, called for his suspension.

Khan, who faces Zac Goldsmith next Thursday in the London mayoral election, called the former Labour mayor’s comments “appalling and inexcusable” after Livingstone said that suspended Labour MP Naz Shah was the victim of a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby”, and argued that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist because “when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel”.

Khan tweeted: “Ken Livingstone’s comments are appalling and inexcusable. There must be no place for this in our Party.” A spokesperson for the mayoral candidate confirmed to the New Statesman that Khan is calling for Livingstone, who chairs Labour’s international policy review and is a member of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, to be suspended by the party and investigated.

A number of Labour MPs have joined Khan’s call for Livingstone to be suspended. These include Stella Creasy, Jess Phillips, Wes Streeting, Liz Kendall, Michael Dugher, Conor McGinn, Tristram Hunt, Chris Bryant and John Woodcock.

The row erupted this morning after Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, was “administratively suspended” by the Labour Party after sharing anti-Semitic posts on Facebook and Twitter – even though Jeremy Corbyn had praised her initial apology.

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On the BBC’s Today programme this morning, Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, likened a graphic Naz Shah tweeted about the forcible “transportation” of Israelis to the US to a funny photo of Boris Johnson stuck on a zipwire. 

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