WATCH Shami Chakrabarti: Ken Livingstone should be expelled from the Labour party

Posted On: 
13th May 2018

Shami Chakrabarti has said Ken Livingstone should be kicked out of Labour for “repeatedly” bringing the party into disrepute.

Shami Chakrabarti said it was difficult to see how someone could decide that Mr Livingstone could remain a Labour member
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PA Images

The Shadow Attorney General said the former London mayor’s comments “equating people trying to escape Nazis with Nazis themselves” were “incendiary” and had brought “shame” upon the party.

The peer added that she was “incredibly disappointed” at the lack of progress in implementing recommendations from her own review into anti-Semitism.

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Her comments come as Labour tries to battle with the anti-Semitism scandal, and amid heightened calls for Mr Livingstone, who was suspended two years ago, to be removed once and for all.

Ms Chakrabarti told the BBC’s Sunday Politics that while the decision was ultimately down to Labour’s disciplinary tribunal committee, it was hard to see how any “rational decision-maker” could allow him to stay.

“The moment he got that lenient sentence [a suspension] in the light of his decades of contribution to the party, what did he do? He went straight out into the media and he repeated the offence as he continues to do,” she said.

“He has brought [Labour] repeatedly into disrepute, he has brought shame upon it and his own legacy and we need to apologise to Jewish members, supporters and voters for the insult - the incendiary remarks equating people trying to escape Nazis with Nazis themselves.”

She added that by repeating the claims on television in which he linked Adolf Hitler to the Zionist movement there was now an “even more aggravated case” to consider.

"It won't be my decision, but this stuff is all over the public record, and I'm sorry to say it, but I don't believe Ken Livingstone can any longer be in the Labour party...

“He has repeated really, really incendiary remarks. To compare somebody who was trying to escape Nazism, with Nazis themselves and to do so again and again and again, even when you know that this has caused the deepest hurt and upset and embarrassment to the party is completely unacceptable."

Ms Chakrabarti refused to rule out quitting the frontbench in protest if Mr Livingstone is not booted out of Labour.

‘INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTED’

The peer said the failure to implement the recommendations in her two-year-old anti-Semitism review down to "factionalism" on both wings of the party.

“On the one hand there were some people, a minority of people who think to be loyal to Jeremy Corbyn is to look away from this problem that exists in society that exists on the right of politics and yes exists on the left of politics," she explained.

“I’m here to say on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn as his principle lawyer and his appointment to the House of Lords, that’s not supportive of Jeremy Corbyn who has written himself about the anti-Semitic tropes people can sometimes fall into on the left."

She also paid tribute to the new Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby, who she said had “probably taken more action to implement my report in the last month than has happened in two years.”