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Labour defers decision on expelling Ken Livingstone

Disciplinary hearing's verdict over former London mayor's remarks on Hitler and Zionism expected next Tuesday

    Ken Livingstone
    Ken Livingstone

    Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) has deferred its decision on whether to expel Ken Livingstone from the party. An announcement will now be made next week.

    The NCC has spent the past two days hearing evidence over comments Mr Livingstone made 11 months ago when he claimed that Hitler was “supporting Zionism… before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.

    Some Jewish social media users suggested the NCC was waiting until Shabbat had come in before giving its verdict.

    But the committee said the verdict will be revealed on Tuesday afternoon, when the former mayor of London, who was suspended from the party after making the remarks, will learn his fate.

    Before the hearing started, Mr Livingstone had said he would take the party to court if, as he expected, he was expelled.

    He had also claimed that he was being hounded by supporters of Israel, who were trying to “silence” his criticism of the treatment of the Palestinians.

    On Thursday, Mr Livingstone gave an impromptu speech as he arrived at the hearing in London, claiming Hitler had agreed to a demand from Zionists to make rabbis preach in Hebrew rather than Yiddish, and that only the Nazi flag and the flag of the Zionist movement were permitted to be flown in Germany before the war.

    According to the Guardian, the Jewish Labour Movement submitted a 170-page document which included condemnation of Mr Livingstone’s statements from both Orthodox and Progressive rabbis.

    Mr Livingstone called five Jewish anti-Zionist Labour members in his defence.

     

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