After Ken Livingstone was today suspended for a further year from the Labour Party as the result of a long delayed quasi judicial process that was not in accord with natural justice, five Jewish Labour Party members, who gave evidence in support of Ken Livingstone at the hearing, issued the following statement:
‘We are appalled by the decision to continue the suspension of Ken Livingstone.
‘The case brought against Ken was not that he was antisemitic. Instead it was claimed that he upset a significant part of the UK’s Jewish population. This upset had been caused by his (accurate) statement that some Zionists and Hitler had wanted to get Jews out of Germany, and that prior to the War they reached a temporary agreement to help bring this about. The Zionist motivation was to increase the numbers of Jews going to Palestine.
‘If a political party adopts the principle that it suspends every member that upsets some part of the population where would it all end? Labour should respect freedom of expression.
‘The decision to continue the suspension Ken is mistaken. It is an attempt to protect Israel from criticism, while simultaneously weakening the position of Jeremy Corbyn, a principled supporter of Palestinian rights.
‘It is the verdict, not Ken Livingstone, that has bought the Labour Party into disrepute.’