London’s mayor has said it is “deeply disappointing” that Labour did not kick one of his predecessors out of the party they both share.
Sadiq Khan was one of several politicians to express their dismay at the party’s National Constitutional Committee, which found Ken Livingstone guilty of bringing the party into disrepute but opted for suspension, rather than expulsion.
In a statement, Khan said: “There should be no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party or anywhere else. I am deeply disappointed that the panel’s decision does not reflect the severity of the verdict.”
He added: “As the Labour Party it is our duty to lead by example and demonstrate that we take a zero-tolerance approach towards anti-Semitism wherever we find it. Sadly this gives the impression we are not fulfilling that duty. Labour must be committed to tackling racism in any form.”
It comes after three NCC members, whose identities remain secret, considered the matter over a two-day hearing last week, and conveyed their judgement on Tuesday, ruling that Livingstone – while guilty of bringing the party into disrepute – should not be expelled.
Instead they said he should be suspended from running for office for two years, of which he has already served 11 months. Livingstone has said he is considering whether to appeal.