Livingstone promises legal action
KEN LIVINGSTONE HAS pledged to seek a judicial review if he loses a Labour Party disciplinary hearing over his comments about Hitler and Zionism.
The former Mayor of London told BBC 5 Live’s Emma Barnett that he expected to lose the case — due to be heard on Thursday and Friday next week — but that he would take further action.
Mr Livingstone was suspended by Labour in April last year for bringing the party into disrepute. He had claimed Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.
In his interview on Wednesday, Mr Livingstone appeared to claim he had been quoted out of context last year and that the reaction, particularly from the Board of Deputies and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, had stemmed from false reporting of his remarks.
He said he had heard from “rabbis” and other Jews who had told him his comments were correct and supported his case.
Referring to the disciplinary hearing, Mr Livingstone, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said: “I’m afraid we’ll have to be off to a judicial review in the courts and in the court the issue will be, what was actually said and what is the truth, and the Labour Party has got no chance of winning a judicial review.
“I’m basically retired. I’m not seeking office. I haven’t asked Jeremy or
didn’t ask Ed Miliband to send me to the House of Lords or anything like that. I’m a house husband, but I’m not having my political career defined at the end that I’m antisemitic.”
Mr Livingstone, who ran as an Independent candidate against Labour in the 2000 London mayoral election, also called for Labour to suspend MPs who were “disloyal” to Mr Corbyn.
“Those that have been most over the top I think should be suspended. I think the other thing that Jeremy should do is re-introduce automatic re-selection. It’s
really ridiculous that MPs in safe seats have a job for life,” he said.
“I’m particularly talking about Chuka Umunna, Wes Streeting — basically it’s the same group of MPs who were screaming that I’d said Hitler was a Zionist and I was antisemitic. The moment that issue went on hold, they were then blaming Jeremy for Britain voting to leave. Just endless criticism. It’s only about a dozen of them.
“The simple fact is they are consciously undermining Jeremy and damaging the Labour Party.”