Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone has been suspended by Labour after he claimed Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism, in a week where the party has been plunged into yet another anti-Semitism scandal. "Ken Livingstone has been suspended by the Labour Party, pending an investigation, for bringing the party into disrepute," a Labour spokeswoman said.
Rosie Winterton, Labour's chief whip, has also summoned John Mann after the Bassetlaw MP angrily confronted Livingstone and accused him of being a "Nazi apologist". The move comes after Livingstone, 70, attempted to defend Bradford West MP Naz Shah, who had been suspended by Labour for backing a call to relocate Israelis to the United States.
"Her remarks were over the top but she's not anti-Semitic. I've been in the Labour party for 47 years; I've never heard anyone say anything anti-Semitic," Livingstone told BBC Radio London.
"There's been a very well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli policy as anti-Semitic. I had to put up with 35 years of this."
Livingstone, who serves on Labour's National Executive Committee, also claimed Nazi leader Hitler was a supporter of Zionism, the movement for a Jewish homeland.
"Let's remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel," Livingstone said. "He was supporting Zionism – this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."