Michael Dugher MP calls on Jeremy Corbyn to ban Ken Livingstone

This article initially appeared on PoliticsHome.

The former London mayor this morning reignited the row over his claims the Nazi leader had supported the creation of a Jewish state in 1932 “before he went mad and murdered six million Jews”.

Mr Livingstone – a key ally of Mr Corbyn – was suspended after making his remarks on live radio in April, but Labour bosses have yet to rule on whether or not he will be re-instated.

Speaking on the BBC this morning, he said: “I think they keep putting it off because the simple fact is I’ve got so much evidence that says what I was saying was true.”

PoliticsHome understands that Mr Livingstone’s case will be dealt with by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, which is made up of 11 party members. A source said they will meet “as soon as logistically possible” over the next few months.

But Michael Dugher, vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said Jeremy Corbyn should step in and insist his long-standing colleague is banned for life.

He said: “Given that Ken Livingstone has repeated and defended his previously anti-Semitic remarks, it’s high time action was taken now to kick him out of the party for good. This has gone on for months

“Every day that drags on leaves a lingering suspicion that the leadership are somehow hoping to delay this decision until after the party conference, with a view to Livingstone being quietly let back into the party should Jeremy Corbyn be re-elected.

“Given that Jeremy’s credibility in terms of combating anti-Semitism is already hanging by a thread, he should make it publicly clear today that the party should meet urgently to deal with Livingstone. He may be a close friend and political soulmate of Livingstone, but Jeremy must show some leadership to make clear there is no place for anti-Semites in the Labour party.”

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “Ken Livingstone’s membership has been suspended pending an investigation by the Labour party.”