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Ken Livingstone Arrives At Labour Suspension Hearing, Rants About Hitler 'Collaborating' With Jews

'Everyone who studies history just knows this.'

30/03/2017 13:47 | Updated 30 March 2017

Ken Livingstone arrived at his Labour suspension hearing on Thursday sparked by his comments about Hitler - then immediately talked about the Nazi leader to assembled reporters. 

The former London Mayor showed up for the first day of a two-day inquest into his Labour membership, after sparking outrage in April last year for saying Hitler supported Zionism.

He faces expulsion from Labour, but has vowed to sue the party if it rules against him.

Standing by his previous outbursts today, Livingstone said he was simply repeating facts about Hitler’s historical favouritism to Jews - and that the two sides “collaborated”.

Everyone who studies history just knows this."

He said: “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, [Hitler] agreed to that.

“They passed a law that said the Zionist flag and the Swastika were the only flags that could be flown in Germany. 

“And then of course, they started selling pistols to the underground Jewish army, so you had, right up until the start of the Second World War, real collaboration.

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Ken Livingstone was suspended by Labour back in April

“And when, in July 1937, many senior Nazis gathered at their foreign office, saying we should stop sending Jews to Palestine because it could create a Jewish state, in the middle of that meeting, a directive comes specifically from Hitler saying ‘No, we will continue with this policy’.”

Livingstone, 71, is facing a charge of engaging in conduct that was grossly detrimental to the party, appearing today at Church House in Westminster.

He has previously been expelled from Labour, when he announced he would stand as an independent in the London mayoral race after losing out as the party’s official candidate. 

It is not the first time, either, that Livingstone has been embroiled in an anti-Semitism row.

In 2006 a High Court judge said he made ‘’unnecessarily offensive’’ and ‘’indefensible’’ remarks likening a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. But he was cleared of bringing the office of mayor into disrepute.

Labour held a review, carried out by Shami Chakrabarti, into racism in the party following comments made by Livingstone and other members.

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Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti carried out a review into racism in the party following comments made by Livingstone and other members

The former Liberty director, who was later given a peerage by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and appointed to his Cabinet, found the Labour Party “is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism”.

But Labour members should “resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors”, her report said.

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