Posted by Curt on 31 August, 2005 at 12:04 pm. Be the first to comment!


Not likely but if it became reality it would be great day for the people of London:

KEN Livingstone, the mayor of London, could be forced out of office for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks he made to a Jewish reporter earlier this year.

It was revealed last night that the Standards Board for England, a watchdog overseeing elected councillors and the Greater London Authority (GLA), has decided that Mr Livingstone should face a public disciplinary hearing and punishment for failing to “respect” the journalist.

Among the punishments available is a ban from all forms of public office for up to five years – which would force the mayor to resign his job.

Less dramatic – but more likely – options include a suspension from office and training to address the behaviour that gave rise to the complaint.

In Mr Livingstone’s case, that behaviour was a row with a reporter from London’s Evening Standard in February.

The reporter, Oliver Finegold, had tried to question Mr Livingstone after an evening reception.

In the exchange, which was recorded by Mr Finegold, the mayor likened the reporter to a “German war criminal”.

When Mr Finegold responded that, being Jewish, he found the remark offensive, Mr Livingstone compared the reporter to a guard at a Nazi concentration camp.

Mr Livingstone has steadfastly refused to apologise, claiming he was justified by what he called more than two decades of “hatred” from Associated Newspapers, the owners of the Standard and the Daily Mail.

Mr Livingstone, serving in his second term as mayor, said: “The Standards Board has rejected the allegation that I failed to comply with the GLA’s code of conduct in relation to this exchange. The tribunal will now consider the issue of whether I treated a journalist with respect.”

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