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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

Jeremy Corbyn: 'Labour is an anti-racist party to its core'

Jeremy Corbyn has set up an inquiry into Labour antisemitism following a turbulent week for the party Credit: PA Photos

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he is determined to root out racism in all forms in the party amid accusations of anti-Semitism within the party.

It follows the suspension of Bradford West MP Naz Shah for an antisemitic Facebook post and Ken Livingstone's remarks that linked Hitler to Zionism.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is an anti-racist party to its core and has a long and proud history of standing against racism, including antisemitism."

I have campaigned against racism all my life and the Jewish community has been at the heart of the Labour party and progressive politics in Britain for more than 100 years.

– Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader

Mr Corbyn has appointed former head of rights group, Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, to lead an independent inquiry into antisemitism within his party.

As part of this Chakrabarti will talk to members Jewish community to establish how it can best tackle antisemitism and other forms of discrimination and racism.


Labour leadership 'slow to respond' over anti-Semitism row

Labour's leadership has maintained a diplomatic silence of sorts today in the row over anti-Semitism within its ranks, but the party has found itself unable to fully draw a line under events.

Labour Peer Lord Dubs told ITV News the leadership had been slow to respond to the issue, and that the row was a disaster for the party.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports.

Labour to 'clarify party rules' amid anti-Semitism row

Labour is stepping up efforts to "clarify policies, procedures, and the rules" over how it tackles anti-Semitism, according to the shadow education secretary.

Labour MP Lucy Powell told ITV News the party needed to be "absolutely clear" it had "zero tolerance" for anti-Semitism within its ranks, and that there were a number of investigations ongoing.

We clearly need to be absolutely clear with party members, with the public, and with society at large that there is a zero tolerance of anti-Semitism in the Labour party, and that's why we have a number of investigations ongoing and that is why we will be bringing forward new proposals to clarify the policies, procedures and the rules in relation to this so that swift action can be taken.

– Lucy Powell

No comment from Livingstone after anti-Semitism row

Ken Livingstone has refused to comment on the anti-Semitism row that has rocked the Labour party.

The former Mayor of London was suspended by the party pending an investigation following comments he made while attempting to defend MP Naz Shah, who was also suspended for alleged anti-Semitism.

Livingstone told reporters while walking his dog Coco: "Nothing, not a word will come from my lips. I'm going to spend the rest of the week gardening."

He added that anyone who wants to hear his views will need to listen to his radio show on Saturday.

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