Jewish Labour Party members speak up for Ken Livingstone
Five Jewish Labour Party members who gave evidence in support of Ken Livingstone at his hearing into allegations of anti-semitism say they are appalled at his continued suspension.
The former London mayor – who has been suspended since April last year – had claimed Hitler supported the creation of a Jewish state.
A disciplinary panel decided on Tuesday that Mr Livingstone had brought the party into disrepute, but he will be suspended for a further year, rather than being expelled - which caused an immediate uproar from his opponents inside and outside of the party.
However, in a statement shared on Facebook, Jenny Manson, Diana Neslen, Jonathan Rosenhead, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and Walter Wolfgang, said: "We are appalled by the decision to continue the suspension of Ken Livingstone.
'Upset had been caused by his (accurate) statement'
"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 (of) 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."
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