LONDON — The Labour Party’s chief administrative body will reassess the decision not to expel Ken Livingstone for comments he made about Adolf Hitler and Zionism last year.
The Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) will assess the decision made by the party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) on Tuesday to suspend the former London mayor rather than kick him out altogether.
Livingstone sparked outrage last year when he told BBC radio that Nazi leader Hitler “was supporting Zionism … before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said today that the comments were “grossly insensitive” and would be reassessed by the NEC after representations from other party members.
A number of Labour MPs expressed their dismay over the NCC’s decision not to expel Livingstone. These included Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Lisa Nandy, Lucy Powell, and John Woodcock.
The Jewish Labour movement described the decision as a”betrayal” of the party’s values and “insufficient” punishment.
In a statement released today, Corbyn said:
“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.
“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise 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.”
This is a developing story…
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