Theresa May is to accuse Labour of “betraying” the Jewish community by letting Ken Livingstone “off the hook” over accusations of anti-Semitism.
The Prime Minister will launch the Conservatives campaign for the May local elections with a stinging attack on Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, saying the party is pursuing “ideological obsessions” while ignoring the priorities of local people.
In a speech in Nottinghamshire on Thursday, she will seek to frame the contest as a choice between the competence of Conservative councils and the “chaos and disarray” of the rest.
Her attack comes after Mr Corbyn ordered a fresh investigation into Mr Livingstone after a disciplinary panel ruled he should be suspended but not expelled for saying Hitler had supported Zionism.
Mrs May will say the decision that the former London mayor could remain a party member showed the extent to which it had moved away from the centre ground of British politics.
“In fact, when you look at it closely, these local elections present a clear and informative choice.
“The competence of a strong Conservative council, focused on the priorities of local people, keeping local taxes down and delivering high quality local services,” she will say.
“Or the chaos and disarray of the rest – political parties motivated not by what is best for local areas, but what best for their own partisan political interest, and without a plan for our country or our local communities – just a recipe for chaos and failure.
“A Labour Party totally out of touch with the concerns of the British people, which ignores the priorities of local communities and instead indulges its own ideological obsessions.
“A Labour Party which just this week revealed the depths to which it has now sunk, betraying the Jewish community in our country by letting Ken Livingstone off the hook.
“It could not be clearer that the Labour Party is now a long way away from the common, centre ground of British politics today.”
Local government elections will be held across England, Scotland and Wales, alongside a number of mayoral elections in city regions such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.
Election expert Professor John Curtice has predicted a 12-point swing from Labour to the Conservatives, with Mr Corbyn’s party at risk of losing control of councils in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.