Labour ruling 'fails Jewish community', says Chief Rabbi

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In the last few moments, Jeremy Corbyn has released a statement saying Livingstone will now face a fresh probe into comments that he made about Hitler since yesterday - when he avoided being booted out of the party for doing exactly the same thing.

He said he had "agonised" over whether to leave Labour given its troubles with anti-Semitism for close to two years but had concluded: "At present it's impossible for me to be against discrimination and remain in the party".

Meanwhile, Labour's shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti said she was "horrified" by the way Mr Livingstone had behaved in the aftermath of the latest suspension.

"There is no place for these views in the Labour Party and no place for anyone who espouses them", he said. "The current reluctance of the party to apparently take swift and severe action against Livingstone does us no credit whatsoever".

Ken Livingstone has denied that he has damaged the Labour Party, despite anger among many of its members after he avoided expulsion.

The row surrounds ex-London mayor Mr Livingstone's claim that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s before he "went mad and ended up killing six million Jews".

But since the verdict was handed down Mr Livingstone conducted a string of media interviews repeating the comments and, in Mr Corbyn's words, failing to "acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused". "To suggest a man who loathed and feared Jews all his life was a Zionist, if I'd said that I'd be off to the doctor to check this wasn't the first stage of dementia".

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Mr Watson's outspoken condemnation of the "incomprehensible" disciplinary ruling came after the Chief Rabbi accused the party of "failing the Jewish community" by not expelling the ex-London mayor over the controversial remarks.

Mark, a 42-year-old charity director from Sheffield, said the "ineffective" sanction levied against Livingstone "belittles the offence he caused".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "Do I stay in the party?"

A statement released by his office said he would be launching a campaign to overturn the suspension, adding that the hearing "was not in accord with natural justice" because it was held in private.

"The big difference is that, though I said that Hitler supported Zionism, MPs like John Mann were immediately claiming that I said Hitler was a Zionist". Look, it's up to like the Labour Party who it allows to be its own members.

"Relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community have reached a new all-time low", Jonathan Arkush, President of The Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the BBC following the decision. "You have had not just Labour MPs but the Chief Rabbi all denouncing this decision", he said.

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