TV sta­tion cen­sure over Liv­ing­stone

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MARTIN BRIGHT

A POP­U­LAR Bri­tish Bangladeshi TV chan­nel has been cen­sured by Of­com for bias over its cov­er­age of a speech by for­mer Lon­don mayor Ken Liv­ing­stone. Chan­nel S, “the voice of Bri­tish Bangladeshis across the world”, re­ported on a con­tro­ver­sial speech by Mr Liv­ing­stone to the Baishaki Mela fes­ti­val in May, which marks the Ben­gali New Year.

The Liv­ing­stone speech, com­pared by one com­plainant to an elec­tion rally, at­tacked the record of Con­ser­va­tive Mayor Boris Johnson, but Chan­nel S did not pro­vide any al­ter­na­tive views, which Of­com con­sid­ers nec­es­sary in the in­ter­ests of bal­ance. Mr Liv­ing­stone ap­peared at the fes­ti­val with Lut­fur Rah­man , the Re­spect Party mayor of Tower Ham­lets, whom he had backed in elec­tions last year to the dis­may of many in the Labour Party.

Last week Mr Liv­ing­stone gave an in­ter­view to To­tal Pol­i­tics mag­a­zine in which he said: “It’s a sim­ple choice be­tween good and evil — I don’t think it’s been so clear since the great strug­gle be­tween Churchill and Hitler… The peo­ple that don’t vote for me will be weighed in the bal­ance, come Judg­ment Day. The Ar­changel Gabriel will say, ‘ You didn’t vote for Ken Liv­ing­stone in 2012. Oh dear, burn for­ever. Your skin flayed for all eter­nity.’...”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Any­one read­ing the full quote will see Ken’s com­ments were clearly made in a spirit of hu­mour dur­ing a light­hearted in­ter­view.

“Tories may want to try to turn this into the cen­tral is­sue in the may­oral elec­tion to di­vert from the big is­sues, from ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment to high fares and ri­ots, but they are un­likely to suc­ceed given the chal­lenges fac­ing Lon­don at present.”

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