Cricklewood resident Ken Livingstone is suspended by Labour Party after Hitler comments
PUBLISHED: 14:49 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:53 28 April 2016
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Cricklewood activist Ken Livingstone has been suspended by Labour for "bringing the party into disrepute" in the wake of the anti-Semitism row, it has been announced.
The party is launching an investigation into the former London mayor’s conduct after outraged senior Labour figures lined up to call for him to be kicked out.
Chief whip Rosie Winterton is also hauling backbencher John Mann in for a meeting over his behaviour after he launched a furious face-to-face attack on Mr Livingstone, accusing him of being a “Nazi apologist”.
A Labour spokesman said: “Ken Livingstone has been suspended by the Labour Party, pending an investigation, for bringing the party into disrepute.
“The chief whip has summoned John Mann MP to discuss his conduct.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came under intense pressure after Mr Livingstone took to the airwaves for a series of interviews in an attempt to defend Bradford West MP Naz Shah from allegations of anti-Semitism.
Ms Shah was suspended yesterday pending an investigation into controversial social media posts about Israel which she made before becoming an MP.
But Mr Livingstone insisted that while her remarks were “over the top”, she was not anti-Semitic, and that he had never encountered anti-Semitism in 40 years in the Labour Party.
He sparked fury among colleagues by going on to claim that Hitler had supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.
Within minutes of his BBC London interview, Labour MPs were queuing up to demand his suspension or removal from the party.
Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan described his comments as “appalling and inexcusable” and shadow cabinet member Chris Bryant told the House of Commons he was “sick and tired” of people trying to explain away anti-Semitism, adding: “Yes, I’m talking to you, Ken Livingstone.”
Before he become the London Mayor Mr Livingston was the MP for the now defunct Brent East constituency between 1987 and 2000.
In an exclusive interview with the Brent & Kilburn Times earlier this month he took a swipe at Boris Johnson, the incumbent London Mayor, saying he shouldn’t be left alone with anyone’s daughter. He also claimed Mr Johnson had ‘done nothing for London except ‘promote himself’.