Neil Coyle MP has defended John Mann's televised confrontation with Ken Livingstone yesterday (Thursday), saying the MP for Bassetlaw has a "track record of tackling anti-Semitism."
The row took place following the former Mayor of London's comments about Adolf Hitler which suggested he supported Zionism "before he went mad and killed six million Jews." Mann accosted Livingstone about his remarks, calling him a "Nazi apologist" in a showdown which was filmed and went viral on social media.
Ken Livingstone has now been suspended from the Labour Party, while Mann was given a reprimand by chief whip Rosie Winterton for denouncing the former London Mayor on TV. Despite the circumstances in which it happened, however, Coyle backed the outburst.
"John was being very passionate," he told Paul Ross. "He has a track record of tackling anti-Semitism.
"Some of the language was unfortunate, but it was a spur of the moment, on-the-spot row between two people which unfortunately took place in front of a lot of cameras."
The MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark was adamant Mann should not be suspended as well.
"The Labour Party is based on values which include tackling discrimination and anti-Semitism," he added. "And you've got someone who's spent years doing this, facing someone who risks inflaming the issue."
"Don't be surprised by the reaction. John made the case clearly in the interview."