Ken Livingstone mocks Blairites after being spared expulsion by Labour over Hitler Zionism row

Ken Livingstone: 'Panel didn't expel me because their lawyers told them I'd get a judicial review and they'd have looked like idiots'

Ken Livingstone spoke to Paul Ross about his suspension ruling

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A defiant Ken Livingstone has hit back at Blairite MPs after being spared expulsion from the Labour Party, and said its latest punishment "is not a problem for me."

Livingstone also told talkRADIO that claims he is an anti-semite are nothing more than "fake news" - but he couldn't afford to sue his critics.

Labour's national constitutional committee has opted not to epxel Livingstone for comments he made last year suggesting Adolf Hitler supported zionism. Instead, it has suspended him for a further year and banned him from running for public office.

The former mayor of London, a frequent critic of the Blairite right wing of Labour, told Paul Ross the latter punishment won't affect him, as he wasn't planning on running for office anyway. He added that the constitutional committee was full of right-wingers who wanted to punish him, but realised they couldn't.

He said: "We all expected they were going to expel me, because the constitutional panel has ten right-wingers and two left-wingers on it.

"But I think their lawyers were telling them I would go get a judicial review, the court would strike it down and they’d have looked like idiots."

The former London Mayor clarified what he meant by his original comments, and blasted Labour MPs and The Jewish Chronicle for supposedly making untrue statements.

“What Naz Shah did was over the top, but I was simply saying she wasn’t anti-Semitic.

"If I’d said Hitler was a Zionist, I wouldn’t have just apologised, I’d have asked my doctor to check for the first signs of dementia.

“The trouble is, MPs like Wes Streeting and 39 Labour MPs were saying I was anti-Semitic. The Jewish Chronicle website had a story which claimed I'd said Jews were like Nazis.

"None of this is true, and I know we live in a world of fake news, but unless you’re rich, you can’t afford to sue the sods."