Mayor Ken Livingstone's suspension frozen pending appeal

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The four week suspension of London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been frozen by a High Court judge pending his appeal.

Ken Livingstone spoke out against the ruling, saying it had "been blown out of all proportion". He also attacked the newspaper group that owns the Evening Standard, around whose reporter the row has erupted.

"It is Associated Newspapers that has a long history of anti-Semitism and support for fascism. It welcomes the blackshirts in the 1930s and it has admitted that as recently as the retirement party of the last editor of the Daily Mail, two of its staff dressed in Nazi uniforms and were not asked to leave. Associated Newspapers has never apologised for this or for its record of support of fascism."

Mr Livingstone also responded to claims made in The Independent newspaper that there had been 11 anti-Semitic attacks following his comments, saying the CMA "in fact claimed there had been 11 incidents following my speech, in which the worst was an offensive letter to a member of Parliament".