Britain’s Labor Party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Thursday for saying Adolf Hitler was a Zionist.
A Labor spokesperson told The Guardian that the action was “for bringing the party into disrepute.” British anti-racism activists and Labor Party politicians are demanding Livingstone’s expulsion.
In a radio interview with the BBC on Thursday, Livingstone said, “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.”
He made the remarks in defense of Labor lawmaker Naz Shah, who was suspended a day earlier over a Facebook post in 2014 suggesting Israelis should be moved en mass to the United States. She apologized on Tuesday, a day after the remarks came to light.
Asked during the interview whether he regarded her statement as anti-Semitic, Livingstone said: “No, it’s completely over the top but it’s not anti-Semitic.” The ex-mayor also said there was a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticized Israeli policy as anti-Semitic.”