The Labour party’s agony over Ken Livingstone is set to continue – after Jeremy Corbyn said it would investigate the former mayor of London’s continuing comments about Adolf Hitler.
On Tuesday Mr Livingstone avoided expulsion from the Labour party, despite being found guilty of three counts of “prejudicial” or “grossly detrimental” conduct.
The decision led to outcry from centrist MPs, including the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson, who called it “incomprehensible” and declared himself “ashamed”.
Hours later, Mr Corbyn announced that the National Executive Committee – which includes him, Mr Watson and other representatives from parliament, the unions and local parties – would investigate Mr Livingstone.
“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused,” he said. “Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.”
“Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members.”
The saga began last April when Mr Livingstone said that Hitler had supported Zionism in the early 1930s. He denied that this was anti-Semitic, or that it amounted to saying that Hitler was a Zionist.