Ken Livingstone, who is suspended from the party over allegedly anti-Semitic remarks linking Adolf Hitler and Zionism, claimed those facing criticism for their comments were just going “over the top” in their condemnation of Israel and did not hate Jews.

He accused certain Labour MPs of “distorting” the scale of the problem.

The former London mayor told talkRADIO: “The simple fact is these issues are being raised by people like Wes Streeting and I think are completely distorting the scale of it.

“Some people have made offensive comments, it doesn’t mean they’re inherently anti-Semitic and hate Jews. They just go over the top.”

Mr Livingstone added: “The people who are criticising the Israeli government’s policy aren’t criticising people who are Jewish in Britain.

“They’re criticising a government like Jeremy Corbyn criticises Saudi Arabia for its abuse of many of its peoples.”