Baroness Chakrabarti has issued her strongest condemnation of Ken Livingstone yet – insisting the former Mayor of London had shamed the Labour Party and should be expelled.
Labour’s Shadow Attorney General made her remarks during an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show.
But on Monday, Mr Livingstone said Baroness Chakrabarti’s comments were a smear based around a false reading of his original comments in 2016 regarding Adolf Hitler and Zionism.
Speaking yesterday, the peer had said: “I don’t believe that Ken Livingstone can any longer be in the Labour Party.
“We can’t run away from the fact that he has repeated really, really incendiary remarks.
“To compare somebody who was trying to escape Nazis with Nazis themselves and do so again and again and again, even when you know that this has caused the deepest hurt and upset and embarrassment to the party is completely unacceptable in my view.”
She added: “I find it very difficult now to see how any rational decision maker could allow Mr Livingstone to stay in our party. He has brought it repeatedly into disrepute.”
Mr Livingstone’s initial suspension came after he said in a radio interview: “Hitler was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
He has denied suggestions that Hitler was a Zionist in several subsequent interviews.
Today on talkRADIO, Mr Livingstone said: “If I said Hitler was a Zionist I wouldn’t just apologise I’d get a doctor to check it wasn’t the first sign of dementia.”
But he then suggested his comments had been based around the historical fact of the Haavara Agreement of 1933.
He added: “If I’m expelled I will go to court. You haven’t got a chance of winning a court case on which you expel someone for stating a historical fact.”
Baroness Chakrabarti’s comments go further than those made by Jeremy Corbyn, who has repeatedly suggested the party’s disciplinary process should be allowed to take its course without interference.
Mr Livingstone’s suspension from the party was extended by a further year last month – although a pledge was made by Jennie Formby, the general secretary, to the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council to deal with the matter before July.