Ken Livingstone: I haven't seen the EHRC report into Labour antisemitism

But the former London Mayor tells the JC he has faced '39 years of lies and smears'


Ken Livingstone has said he has not seen a draft copy of the report by Britain’s equality watchdog into Labour antisemitism in advance of its publication.

Asked to comment on his response to the long-awaited Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report the former Mayor of London told the JC: “I haven’t objected to it. I haven’t seen it.”

Organisations and individuals which could be facing criticism in the report into Labour’s handling of antisemitism were sent draft copies in July. 

The process - which saw the Labour Party confirming they had received a draft version -allowed them 28 days to mount any challenge to claims made within the document.

Mr Livingstone also told the JC he believed he had been subjected to "lies and smears” ever since he was first elected leader of the Greater London Council in 1981.

He said: “I’ve been accused of being corrupt, alcoholic...violent. 

“I’ve had 39 years of lies and smears. Don’t worry about it.”

Mr Livingstone resigned from Labour after 50 years in May 2018 saying the issues around antisemitism had become a distraction. 

He had been suspended since 2016 over comments relating to Adolf Hitler and Zionism. 

A confrontation in which the former Labour MP John Mann described him as a “Nazi apologist” became a pivotal moment in the antisemitism crisis under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. 

As Mr Corbyn’s long-time ally Mr Livingstone said while he apologised for offending many in Jewish community with his remarks he denied he was guilty of antisemitism. 

He continued to make claims about the Nazi leader and Israel in further interviews. 

Amongst those to praise Mr Livingstone at the time was former Labour MP Chris Williamson.

The ex-Derby North MP, who faced claims of “baiting” the community with his repeated comments about Jews and Israel, has subsequently claimed to have challenged references to himself in made in the draft of the EHRC report. 

The watchdog has been looking into whether Labour "unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish".

In particular, it said it would determine whether unlawful acts have been committed by the party and its employees and whether the party responded to complaints of unlawful acts in a lawful, efficient and effective manner.

The inquiry was set up following complaints by the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM).

The report is finally expected to be published in the next few weeks. 


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...


Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive