Britain / 02-04-2017
London - The British Labour Party decided Friday to defer its ruling on whether or not to expel Ken Livingstone over a claim he made last year that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s. The two-day internal party hearing was held on Thursday and Friday, but Labour’s National Constitutional Committee won’t deliver its verdict until Tuesday.
As the former London mayor entered the hearing on Thursday, he repeated claims of the same kind that landed him in the disciplinary hearing in the first place.
Fielding questions from reporters Livingstone defended the remarks he made in April 2016, which led to his suspension amid accusations that the party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had not done enough to curb rampant antisemitism among party members.
“Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism – this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews,” Livingstone said during an interview with BBC radio.
“I simply said that back in 1933, Hitler’s government signed a deal with the Zionist movement which would mean that... the Jewish community would be moved to what is now Israel,” he reiterated Thursday, in comments to reporters that were filmed and posted to The Telegraph’s website.
“That’s what support is,” he said, though he denied saying Hitler was himself a Zionist, adding that he would need to be checked for dementia if he made the latter claim.