POLITICS

Expelled Labour Member Denies Holding Views 'Reminiscent' Of The Nazi

10/03/2016 14:40 GMT | Updated 10/03/2016 14:59 GMT

Gerry Downing, the far-left activist expelled by the Labour Party last night, has reject the accusation his views on Jewish people are similar to those held by the Nazis.

In an appearance on BBC 2's Daily Politics programme on Thursday, Downing was asked to explain what he meant by the need to confront the "Jewish question".

Presenter Andrew Neil asked him, what he meant. "The fact that Israel can commit absolutely heinous crimes against he Palestinians," Downing said.

"It adds up to something very material. And that is the number of millionaires and billionaires of zionist persuasion which in the American ruling class and within European classes in general it is their economic and political power that leads to ridiculous situations," Downing added.

Neil asked: "Isn't that very reminiscent of what the Nazis said in Germany in the 1930s? That there were these rich Jews controlling the german economy?

Downing replied: "Indeed no."

During prime minister's question time on Wednesday, David Cameron seized on Downing's statement that the September 11 terrorist attacks "must never be condemned".

Downing told Daily Politics he did not want to use the word "condemn" when talking about the 9/11 attackers and instead wanted to "understand the motivation" behind what they did.

Downing was expelled by Labour last August, but later readmitted. He was kicked out of the party again yesterday evening. In a statement last night, the Labour party said: "Following evidence that has come to light, Gerry Downing has now been expelled from the Labour party by the NEC panel."

Labour MP John Woodcock had written to Corbyn to ask him to take action against Downing. "Allowing this man to be a member of the Labour party insults the memory of those who died in the 11 September terror attacks and the British servicemen and women who gave their lives in the Afghanistan conflict that followed," he wrote.

"It is a terrible stain on a party whose internationalism was forged in the second world war by the likes of Clement Attlee, Stafford Cripps and Ernest Bevin."