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Hitler's name just won't go away as Labour's 'anti-semitism' row rumbles on

Ken Livingstone apologised for loads of things but not for involving the Nazi leader.

Source: LBC/YouTube

FORMER LONDON MAYOR Ken Livingstone says he regrets bringing Hitler into a debate about alleged anti-Semitism and has apologised to anyone he upset.

But Livingstone, now suspended from the Labour Party, says he sticks to the facts of what he said and would not apologise for saying them.

Speaking on radio station LBC, Livingstone claims that he ‘did not create this problem’.

“It was created by a group of embittered Blairite MPs who stirred up all this nonsense about anti-semitism,” he said.

“I’m sorry if anyone was upset by what I said, I’m sorry for that. But it happens to be a statement of fact,” he later added.

The media storm that has engulfed Livingstone comes after he defended a Labour MP who shared a 2014 Facebook post suggesting Jews could be moved from Israel to the United States.

The post from Naz Shah MP comes amid allegations of anti-Semitism in the Jeremy Corbyn-led opposition party and a debate about what constitutes anti-semitism.

Supporters of Shah and Livingstone have argued that being anti-Zionist does not mean an individual is anti-semitic.

Zionism is the movement for Jewish people to establish a Jewish state in the holy lands where modern day Israel exists.

Others, however, argue that the existence of the Jewish state of Israel means that opposing it makes an individual inherently anti-semitic.

In his defence of Shah, Livingstone had argued that Hitler supported Zionism, stating:

Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel.

His words led to him being angrily confronted by a fellow Labour MP and ultimately to today’s radio confrontation.

Allegations of anti-semitism have been circling the Labour Party for some time and have been denied by Corbyn, but this latest incident has forced him into establishing an independent inquiry.

Others argue that the controversy has been manufactured to hurt Labour ahead of this Thursday’s UK-wide local elections and London mayoral vote.

Read: Ken Livingstone was (briefly) forced to hide in a toilet after some bizarre Hitler comments >

Read: The incredible inside story on how Jeremy Corbyn took control of the UK Labour Party >

 

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Rónán Duffy

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