Ken Livingstone appeared on BBC News on Tuesday morning to defend Keith Vaz - the Labour MP under pressure to quit as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee over a reports he paid for male escorts.
However the former mayor ended up talking about Hitler.
Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party in May after he was accused of suggesting Hitler had once been a Zionist. But much to the irritation of many Labour MPs and officials - the former London mayor kept appearing on the airwaves to talk about the Nazi leader.
Livingstone told presenter Victoria Derbyshire, who asked the former mayor about his suspension, the reason it had not been resolved was he had “so much evidence saying that what I was saying was true”.
“If you go to the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, one of the pamphlets they sell to tourists is about the deal Hitler did with the Zionists in the 1930s,” he said.
“If I had said Hitler was a Zionist, I wouldn’t just have apologised I would have gone straight to my doctor to check I wasn’t in the first stages of dementia. To suggest that Hitler was a Zionist is mad. He loathed and feared Jews all his life. But he did do a deal with the Zionist movement in the 1930s.”ADVERTISEMENT
Livingstone also defended Vaz against demands he quit as Commons Home Affairs Committee chairman.
“I never recall him talking about sex or drugs. He was always focused on what he could do to make life better for his constituents,” he said of Vaz.
“Do you judge someone’s political career on the basis of one incident like this, or the total work of over four decades? Everybody makes mistakes. Let’s see what turns out to be true. Don’t judge somebody on one mistake they make in their life.”
Vaz will face MPs on the committee today to discuss his future after becoming embroiled in a scandal involving male escorts.