Labour Leader Announces New Investigation Into Ken Livingstone's Hitler-Zionist Remarks

The move comes after outcry from the British Jewish community, centrist MPs and members of Livingstone's own party.

File photo: Labour's Ken Livingstone arrives on Regent Street for a visit to Hamleys toy shop in London, April 5, 2012.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

The U.K. Labour Party announced on Wednesday that it will open a new investigation into former London mayor Ken Livingstone over his comments about Hitler and Zionism, the Financial Times reported.

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson called the decision not to expel Livingstone “incomprehensible” and said he was “ashamed,” according to FT.

Full interview: Ken Livingstone refuses to back down from 'Zionist Hitler' comments, says sorry for furor caused

Labour suspended Livingstone for another year on Tuesday for his 2016 remarks. “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 said in an interview with the BBC in April of that year.

Livingstone's 2016 statements, which came at a time when Labour was battling accusations of anti-Semitism, caused an uproar and resulted in his suspension from the party. At the time, a number of lawmakers, including then-London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, called for his removal from Labour.

Wednesday's announcement follows outcry from the British Jewish community, centrist MPs and members of Livingstone's own party. 

Party head Jeremy Corbyn said that Labour's National Executive Committee would investigate Livingstone. 

“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologize for the hurt he has caused,” he was quoted as saying by FT. “Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.”

Last week, Livingstone made fresh accusations of links between Jews and Nazis on his way into court for a hearing on his previous controversial remarks.

“The [Nazi] SS set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go there could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country," he was quoted as saying.

Livingstone has stood by his comments and vowed to fight the new suspension, the BBC reported.