Ken Livingstone: My Hitler remarks were as accurate as 1+1=2
Defiant Ken Livingstone last night insisted his claims that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist were as correct as "1+1=2".
The former London mayor - suspended by Labour for the controversial remark - said he had been the victim of a campaign by "embittered MPs" trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.
He said he would not apologise for the comments, and claimed to have received support from many Jewish people in the wake of the row.
Mr Livingstone was accused of anti-Semitism last month after he told the BBC that Hitler had supported the creation of a Jewish state in 1932 "before he went mad and murdered six million Jews".
Members of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee will meet next month to decide whether to expel or re-instate him to the party.
Appearing at Oxford University last night, Mr Livingstone said: "I put all of this in my autobiography five years ago and no one said anything then.
"Embittered MPs [think] here we can start screaming at Ken Livingstone, ‘Nazi apologist’ and so on, and create all this stuff about anti-Semitism."
He added: "I think this has been largely manufactured by people trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. If someone says something anti-Semitic they will be expelled but you can’t expel someone for telling the truth.”
The former Labour MP - who insisted his long-term ally Mr Corbyn "had no say" in his suspension - went on to say his comments had been as factual as “1+1=2.”
"In this latest anti-Semitic row, I couldn’t walk down the street without being stopped by people saying, ‘Don’t give into them, we know what you say is true’," he said.
"One Jewish woman said: ‘Don’t these MPs read history?’"
Labour has been hit by a string of anti-Semitism rows in recent months.
In response, the party has set up an inquiry headed by human rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti to look at the extent of the problem, as well as the prevalence of other forms of racism.
Meanwhile, a former Labour MP has said Ken Livingstone should not be re-admitted to the party.
Ivor Caplin, who represented Hove, spoke out after being appointed south east chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement.
He told The Argus newspaper: "In football parlance, two yellow cards means a red and this is Ken's second yellow card."