Jeremy Corbyn has denied Labour is in crisis following the suspension of former mayor of London Ken Livingstone for comparing Hitler to Zionists amid an anti-Semitism row within the party that shows no sign of abating. Corbyn said: "There's no crisis. Where there is any racism in the party... it will be rooted out.
"Anybody that thinks this party is not cracking down on anti-Semitism is simply wrong. We have suspended where appropriate, we have investigated all cases. We will not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form whatsoever in the party," he told the BBC.
It follows a day of extraordinary events on Thursday 28 April following allegations about anti-Semitism within the party. Livingstone was suspended after defending on BBC Radio London the Bradford West MP Naz Shah, herself suspended on Wednesday (27 April) for once endorsing a Facebook posting that Israel should be moved to the US.
In Shah's defence, Livingstone said: "When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."
Livingstone's comments caused an immediate outcry and led to his being confronted on television by Labour MP John Mann. Mann has also been criticised for his behaviour.
However the incidents involving Shah and Livingstone follow a number of other controversies in which Labour supporters have made anti-Semitic remarks. Corbyn's claims were given short shrift by some Labour peers. Michael Levy and Lady Neuberger each told Newsnight that anti-Semitism appeared to be a serious issue within some elements of the hard left.
Their claims were echoed by author and comedian David Baddiel, who told the Today programme: "The left portrays itself as a champion of the oppressed.
"But there is such a big hangover from them that the Jews are not that, that they are rich and powerful and controlling and therefore that they do not fit into the category of the oppressed, particularly in their version of Israel, which is the oppressor."