The Jewish Labour Movement will pursue a debate about Ken Livingstone’s repeated offending of the Jewish community at the party’s autumn conference if he not expelled from the party today.
The former mayor of London is expected to learn today if he will face the ultimate sanction following his comments that Hitler “supported Zionism before he went mad and killed six million Jews”. He has doggedly stood by the comments during a three-day disciplinary hearing of the National Constitutional Committee, where he faced a charge of indulging in conduct “grossly detrimental” to the party.
Jeremy Newmark, director of JLM, told Radio 4 said a decision to dismiss the charge would leave JLM “with no option but to take it to the next step – and yes, we believe we would have support for such a move. he was a larger than life figure in Labour politics for decades but his obsession with Hitler and the Holocaust, his seemingly consistent need to calibrate his language to cause maximum hurt to Jewish people and Holocaust survivors has caused a situation where there can no longer be a place for him inside our party.”
His comments on Hitler and Zionism came 11 months ago, as he sprung to the defence of MP Naz Shah after it emerged she had shared on social media a post advocating the transfer of Israel to the US as a “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She accepted the sentiment was anti-Semitic and apologised – but Livingstone continues to insist otherwise.
He told the Today programme on the eve of the result that there was a “clear element of support for Zionism because the zionists were the one group of Jews he was prepared to work with. Literally there’s such a history of collaboration. The reason for that is not that Hitler wanted a Jewish state, he wanted to get Jews out of Germany”.