The second day of Ken Livingstone’s hearing before the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) begins todays, as the former head of the extreme right-wing British National party appeared to praise the former Mayor of London’s claims about Hitler and Zionism.
Nick Griffin, who led the BNP until 2014, tweeted in Mr Livingstone’s defence on Thursday evening, writing: “Hitler started war wanting to send all Jews to own homeland outside Europe & armed Zionist terrorists to fight Brits in Palestine. #RedKen".
Mr Griffin subsequently tweeted: "One day the world will know that #RedKen was right".
Mr Livingstone is appearing to answer the charge that he brought the Labour Party into disrepute over comments made last year. He claimed that Hitler “was supporting Zionism… this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”. He was subsequently suspended from the party.
As he arrived for the hearing yesterday, Mr Livingstone reiterated his claims, telling reporters that there was “real collaboration” between Jews and Nazis prior to World War Two.
As reported by the Guardian, Jeremy Newmark, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, was called as a witness before the NCC on Thursday. The JLM is believed to have submitted a 17-page document detailing the incidents leading up to the hearing, with statements from both Orthodox and Progressive rabbis.
Although Mr Newmark did not discuss the hearing itself, he told the Guardian that Mr Livingstone “continues to dig himself a hole, even outside his own expulsion hearing, with his misreading of the history of the Holocaust.”
Mr Livingstone submitted a statement before the beginning of the hearing, in which he said that Labour was being urged to expel him by "supporters of Israel" who wanted to “silence” his criticism of “Israeli aggression”, thereby once again resorting to the formulation named after him.
“The Livingstone formulation” is the insistence that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism dishonestly in order to silence criticism of Israel.
A letter published online supporting Mr Livingstone was signed by 32 Jewish Labour members, including Marion Kozak, the mother of former party leader Ed Miliband.