Ken Livingstone not facing imminent return to the Labour party
Ken Livingstone is not facing an imminent return to the Labour party, sources have revealed.
Reports suggested that the former London mayor would become a member again once his current suspension for claiming Adolf Hitler was a Zionist ended in April.
But senior party figures have insisted that a formal investigation into remarks he made following his last disciplinary hearing is likely to take place, meaning he could be re-admitted while those inquiries were going on.
In a sign that Mr Livingstone may still end up being expelled permanently, sources said it would be wrong to suggest that his re-instatement is inevitable.
He was initially suspended after telling BBC Radio London that Hitler "was supporting Zionism…before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews".
In April last year, Labour's National Constitutional Committee continued his suspension for another 12 months, despite finding him guilty of three counts of bringing the party into disrepute.
At the time, Mr Livingstone said: "I do think it's important that the Labour party should not expel or suspend people for telling the truth."
PoliticsHome revealed two days later that Labour general secretary Iain McNicol had written to members of the party's national executive committee to tell them a fresh investigation had been launched.
He said: "The Labour party has received many complaints following the end of the recent hearing of the NCC and I have instructed my staff to follow the procedures and begin an investigation into whether the party’s rules may have been broken again.
"If they have then I am determined they are investigated fully and properly."
Last month, Labour faced fresh calls to suspend Mr Livingstone - a keen supporter of Jeremy Corbyn - after he appeared on an Iranian state-sponsored TV channel to debate whether the Holocaust has been "exploited to oppress others"
During the Press TV debate, he reiterated his view that the claims he made about Hitler were historically accurate.
He also claimed that his suspension from Labour was down to a "political struggle" and had "nothing to do with anti-Semitism".
A Labour party spokesperson said: "Ken Livingstone is suspended from the Labour Party. It would not be appropriate to comment further on an ongoing disciplinary matter."