Ken Livingstone

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Person.png Ken Livingstone   History Commons WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(maverick, politician)
Ken Livingstone.jpg
BornKenneth Robert Livingstone
London, United Kingdom
Alma materTulse Hill School
Spouse • Christine Chapman
• Emma Beal

Employment.png Mayor of London Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
4 May 2000 - 4 May 2008
Succeeded byBoris Johnson

Employment.png Leader of the Greater London Council

In office
17 May 1981 - 1 April 1986

Employment.png Member of Parliament for Brent East

In office
11 June 1987 - 7 June 2001

Employment.png Councillor for the Greater London Council

In office
12 April 1973 - 31 March 1986

Kenneth Robert Livingstone (born 17 June 1945) is an English politician who served as the Leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986, and as Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008. He was also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent East from the 1987 General Election to 2001.

In April 2016, Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party for having made allegedly 'anti-semitic' remarks. In May, a petition to "reinstate Ken Livingstone immediately!" was signed by more than 3,000 people within a week.[1] In May 2018, Ken Livingstone resigned from the Labour Party and joined RT's Sputnik:

"Not that he’s giving up politics following his resignation from Labour – indeed, to paraphrase Mr Benn, you could say he’s given up his party membership to spend more time with his politics."[2]

NCC tribunal

In March 2017, before the start of a National Constitutional Committee (NCC) hearing into his suspension, Livingstone reiterated the fact that Hitler supported Zionism because the Nazi government signed the Haavara Agreement, which facilitated the relocation of Jews to Palestine in 1933:

“Hitler didn’t just sign the deal. The SS set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go there could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there. When the Zionist movement asked, would the Nazi government stop a Jewish rabbi doing their sermons in Yiddish and make them do it in Hebrew, he agreed to that.
“He passed a law saying the Zionist flag and the Swastika were the only flags that could be flown in Germany. An awful lot. Of course, they started selling Mauser pistols to the underground Jewish army. So you had right up until the start of the second world war real collaboration.”[3]

On 31 March 2017, Ken Livingstone tweeted:

My hearing resumes Tuesday 4 April. Thanks to everyone who's been in touch with messages of support.[4]

Jews rally in support

On 30 March 2017, over 30 leading Jewish members of the Labour Party wrote to the NCC:

“We believe it would be a travesty if the Labour Party were to find Ken Livingstone guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Party. As Jews, we are appalled that such a serious issue as antisemitism is being used in this cynical and manipulative way. It is harmful to Jewish people that false charges of antisemitism are so casually thrown around. We would urge the Party not to make such a damaging mistake.”

Commenting, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, a Jewish Labour Party member and witness for Ken Livingstone at the hearing, said:

“Ken Livingstone is being pilloried because he is a prominent figure on the left of the Labour Party who has actively defended it from attacks based on false allegations of antisemitism. As a Jewish person who supports Palestinian human rights, I reject the notion that criticism of Israel and Zionism is necessarily antisemitic. Those who allege antisemitism against Ken Livingstone discredit the term. His track record in public office is a clear testament to his commitment to supporting the Jewish community and fighting racism in all its forms, including antisemitism.”

Ken Livingstone responded:

“I’d like to thank all the Jewish Party members who have signed this letter in my support – the reality is that I am being attacked by the right-wing of the Labour Party because I support Palestinian human rights and strongly back our Leader Jeremy Corbyn.”[5]

"Go catch some real criminals"

In February 2015, Ken Livingstone was instructed to stop filming in London's Westfield shopping centre. He told police:

"Go catch some real criminals".[6]

"Nazi apologist" and "bigot"

On 28 April 2016, Labour MP John Mann publicly accosted Ken Livingstone over his comments defending a tweet by Muslim MP Naz Shah when he claimed that Hitler "was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews". Mann accused Livingstone of being a "Nazi apologist" and a "fucking disgrace".[7] Following this incident, Mann was reprimanded by Labour's chief whip Rosie Winterton, with party spokesperson saying that she had told Mann that it is "completely inappropriate for Labour members of Parliament to be involved in very public rows on the television".[8] Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party in relation to his earlier comments.[9]

On an unrelated issue, six months earlier, Mann had repeatedly called Livingstone a "bigot" in a radio phone-in, following a controversy over Livingstone remarking that MP Kevan Jones was "obviously very depressed and disturbed".[10]

Following his outburst at Livingstone, an online petition accusing Mann of "appallingly unprofessional and toxic behaviour" and calling for him to be subject to a "disciplinary procedure" gathered over 21,000 signatures in seven days.[11]


A Document by Ken Livingstone

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Labour & ‘anti-Semitism’: Real goal of establishment smear campaign is to deny socialists powerArticle23 April 2019"Antisemitism"
Board of Deputies of British Jews
Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn
John Mann
Iain McNicol
Jennie Formby
Equality and Human Rights Commission
After three years of screaming headlines, the truth about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is finally revealed: just 0.08 percent of Labour’s half-a-million members have said or tweeted something anti-Semitic


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