Will former London mayor Ken Livingstone, whose party suspended him over anti-Semitism, return to politics?
By: World Israel News Staff
The British Labour party in April banned former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for a year over comments he made in 2016, when he claimed that Hitler supported Zionism before he “went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
However, the party did not expel him, as initially expected.
Livingstone was temporarily suspended from the Labour Party following an April 2016 interview with BBC radio, in which he said, “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.”
Now, as Livingstone’s suspension period is set to end and he is expected to return to the political arena, Labour leaders are warning that this could damage the party.
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “forgive me, but what does he offer the party other than embarrassment and ego?”
MP Wes Streeting said his return to Labour will cause “irreparable damage to the party’s standing and reputation.”
MP Ruth Smeeth, who has been targeted by online anti-Semitism, told the UK’s Observer that Livingstone “continues to bring the party into disrepute” and “has no place in the party.”
Livingstone’s path back to the party is not completely clear, as Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is planning to launch a new inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism against Livingstone.
The Labour party has repeatedly come under fire for anti-Semitism among party members.
The UK’s Telegraph reported in May 2016 that Labour secretly suspended 50 of its members over anti-Semitic and racist comments. The suspensions that have been made public so far are said to be just the tip of the iceberg.