You would not be welcome in Ilford North: MP Wes Streeting confronts Ken Livingstone over ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks

PUBLISHED: 10:11 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 05 April 2017

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting


Ilford North MP Wes Streeting told Ken Livingstone his anti-Semitic views meant he “would not be welcome in Ilford” during a televised interview last night.

Mr Livingstone, who has been suspended from the Labour Party since he first made claims Hitler was a Zionist in April last year, had his suspension extended for another year yesterday after yet more questionable remarks.

Appearing on BBC Newsnight next to the former Mayor of London, Mr Streeting said: “We’ve said that the Labour Party will take a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and today was an opportunity to live up to that promise and we’ve blown it.”

And the Ilford MP also claimed Mr Livingstone’s actions were harming Labour’s election hopes in Redbridge.

He said: “There is a website that counts the number of days since Ken last mentioned Hitler, and this matters because it comes up on the doorstep in constituencies like mine and it looks like the Labour Party doesn’t take people like Ken who make these remarks seriously.”

But Mr Livingstone, who claims a small group of Labour MPs deliberately “created a storm” over the incident, then asked why Mr Streeting had used his support while campaigning in the last General Election.

“You did not come anywhere near my constituency during the General Election and you would not be welcome in my constituency,” The Labour MP corrected him, before accepting that the former Mayor of London had campaigned for Wes during local council elections in 2010.

“But you are not welcome in my constituency and you would not be welcomed by Jewish voters in my constituency,” he said.

And the Ilford North MP, who chairs the all-party Parliamentary group on British Jews, also released a statement on Twitter yesterday reaffirming his commitment to Labour’s Jewish supporters and his Jewish constituents.

He said: “My message to my own Jewish community in Ilford North and to decent-minded Labour Party supporters across the country is that there are still a great many of us in the Labour Party who will never toletate anti-Semitism and will fight relentlessly to get Labour back to being an effective opposition and alternative party of government that’s actually worth their support.”

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