‘Not worth the paper it’s written on’: Bury MP says Livingstone decision throws fresh doubt on Labour anti-Semitism report

A prominent Manchester Jewish MP has slammed Labour’s decision not to expel Ken Livingstone from the party following his controversial comments over Adolf Hitler’s support for Zionism.

Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, said the decision to hand the former London mayor a further 12 month suspension was further evidence that a report by Shami Chakrabarti into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was ‘not worth the paper it was written on’.

Mr Lewis, who was first elected to Parliament in 1997, has been a voluntary member of the Manchester Jewish Federation for eleven years and has openly spoken out against the 2016 Chakrabarti report.

He said: “The time has come for the decent majority of Labour MPs and members to stand up and be counted. The Livingstone decision is further evidence that the Chakrabarti report is not worth the paper it was written on.”

The Chakrabarti inquiry was launched as a result of comments made by two high-profile Labour figures, Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, which were perceived as anti-Semitic in nature.

Mr. Lewis has called for firm action from the leadership of the Labour Party against anti-Semitism: We cannot be true to our proud tradition of being an anti-racist party until we demonstrate zero tolerance of anti-Semitism without fear or favour. That is why the party leadership must urgently review this decision.

“Those who claim that their concerns are part of some “right wing conspiracy” against Jeremy Corbyn should be reminded that no one forced Ken Livingstone to go into a radio studio to speak about Nazi support for Zionism.

“They must also confront their reality that a minority who claim to be progressive seem to think that their opposition to the policies of the Israeli Government entitles them to use rhetoric and imagery which is pure and simple Jew hatred.

“Equally, those socialists who seek to justify or deny anti-Semitism whenever it rears its ugly head are nothing more than apologists for racism. Enough is enough.”

Since Livingstone’s suspension from the party was announced last week, and the public outcry which followed, Jeremy Corbyn has initiated a new investigation into the ex-London mayor’s comments about Hitler.

This could result in Livingstone facing further disciplinary action.

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