Ken Livingstone: Streeting and Umunna among a dozen Labour MPs who should be suspended

Posted On: 
22nd March 2017

Ken Livingstone has re-ignited Labour's civil war by calling for a dozen Labour MPs to be suspended for disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn - including Wes Streeting and Chuka Umunna.

Ken Livingstone says a dozen Labour MPs should be suspended for disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn.
PA Images

The controversial former London mayor accused them of "consciously undermining Jeremy and damaging the Labour party".

Mr Livingstone was himself suspended by Labour last April after claiming that Adolf Hitler had been a Zionist "before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews". His disciplinary hearing, which could see him expelled from the party, is set to take place next week.

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Speaking on 5 Live's Emma Barnett, he turned his fire on those who have been openly critical of his long-standing ally Mr Corbyn.

He said: "Those that have been most over the top I think should be suspended.  I think the other thing that Jeremy should do is re-introduce automatic re-selection. It's really ridiculous that MPs in safe seats have a job for life.

"I'm particularly talking about Chuka Umunna, Wes Streeting - basically it's the same group of MPs who were screaming that I'd said Hitler was a Zionist and I was anti-Semitic. The moment that issue went on hold, they were then blaming Jeremy for Britain voting to leave. Just endless criticism.  It’s only about a dozen of them.

"The simple fact is they are consciously undermining Jeremy and damaging the Labour party."

Mr Livingstone said he expected to lose his disciplinary hearing, and said he would take the party to court if he did.

"I'm afraid we'll have to be off to a judicial review in the courts and in the court the issue will be, what was actually said and what is the truth, and the Labour party has got no chance of winning a judicial review," he said.

"I'm basically retired. I'm not seeking office. I haven't asked Jeremy or didn't ask Ed Miliband to send me to the House of Lords or anything like that. I'm a house husband, but I'm not having my political career defined at the end that I'm anti-Semitic."

Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, told PoliticsHome: "I won't be taking any lectures on loyalty from Ken Livingstone. I'm not sure why he hasn't yet been expelled from the Labour party, but I won't lose any sleep about this or anything else Ken has to say."

A spokesman for Mr Umunna said: "This latest outburst from Mr Livingstone has everything to do with Chuka calling him out at the Home Affairs Select Committee for needlessly and recklessly causing offence to the Jewish community and very little to do with Jeremy Corbyn."

His outburst comes amid further Labour in-fighting over claims pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum is plotting to take over the party.

That led to a showdown at a Shadow Cabinet away day on Monday, followed by an angry meeting of the parliamentary Labour party later that evening.

Mr Corbyn then issued a video appeal for unity and for the party to put an end to its "navel gazing" and instead turn its fire on the Government.