EXCL Row after controversial former Ken Livingstone adviser rejoins Labour

Posted On: 
22nd November 2016

A controversial former aide to Ken Livingstone has re-joined the Labour party, sparking an angry backlash.

Lee Jasper (right) speaks at a demo in 2007
PA Images

Lee Jasper told PoliticsHome he had left the party twice before, but had decided to re-apply to show his support for Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

However, Labour sources said party members of his local branch in Vauxhall, South London, were "challenging" his application.

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Mr Jasper was forced to quit as the former London mayor's director for policing and equalities in 2008 over emails he sent to a woman whose organisation had received funding from the Greater London Authority. A probe later cleared him of any wrongdoing.

He went on to stand for George Galloway's Respect party in the Croydon North by-election in November, 2012, but was beaten into sixth place as Labour's Steve Reed was elected.

Mr Jasper, who is chair of Momentum's black caucus in London, has also been criticised in the past for comparing Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis in the Second World War.

Speaking in 2010, he said: "It seems to me almost unimaginable that a people such as the Jewish community, who suffered so grievously under the yoke of Nazism and fascism, should forget the fundamental lesson of that oppression."

Mr Jasper said he had initially quit Labour in protest at the Iraq War and, after re-joining, left the party again around the time Gordon Brown decided not to call a snap election in 2007.

He told this website: "The party confirmed my membership electronically about three weeks ago and my card arrived last week. There was some delay in getting the paperwork, but it finally arrived.

"I think Jeremy and John reflect a Labour leadership that I can have some degree of confidence in. The current application system is very rigorous, and I'm happy to get through it. I now intend to get stuck in and do what I can to get Labour elected."

But a Labour source said: "I can confirm that his membership is being challenged by the Vauxhall constituency Labour party."