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McDonnell: Ken Livingstone should apologise

It has been a "dreadful week" for Labour, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said as he called on suspended member Ken Livingstone to apologise for claiming Hitler "supported Zionism".

John McDonnell has called on Ken Livingstone to apologise Credit: PA

In an interview, Mr McDonnell said the controversy over alleged anti-Semitism in the party had damaged its election chances.

He said he would not rule out that the row was a plot to undermine the leadership - but said what mattered was ridding the party of any instances of racism.

I just wish Ken would have apologised today for some of the offence that he has caused. I know he said he regrets what he said but I think he should now apologise.

We are not sure where this is coming from. But it doesn't matter where it's coming from. If there is any evidence at all of anti-Semitism in our party that is unacceptable and we are going to root it out.

We are going to restore the reputation of the Labour Party as an anti-racist force.

I know it has been a setback for us, it has been a dreadful week. But people are campaigning hard out there and they know now that we are going to tackle this issue.

– John McDonnell, shadow chancellor
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