LONDON (VINnews) — Former mayor of London and Labor Party member Ken Livingstone, said Friday that Boris Johnson’s predicted landslide victory spells “the end” for Jeremy Corbyn, but also blamed Corbyn’s loss on the “Jewish vote”.
Livingstone, who has claimed in the past that the evidence of anti-Semitism in the party is “lies and smears,” blamed the loss of his “close ally” Jeremy Corbyn on the Labor leader’s handling of allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Mr Livingstone said: “The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful.” He added in comments reported by The Daily Mirror that “Jeremy should have tackled that issue far earlier than he did.”
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted that Mr Livingstone’s choice of words about the “Jewish vote” “may well cause some eyebrows to shoot up”.
Livingstone has made other controversial assertions in the past. In 2014, he said Jewish people stopped voting Labour “as they got richer”, adding the community “moved over to voting for Mrs Thatcher as they did in Finchley”.
He was suspended by the Labour Party in 2016 and quit last year over comments he made about Hitler supporting Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews”, adding that there is a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli policy as antisemitic”.
Livingstone has also called the creation of the state of Israel “a great catastrophe” and said that he will “never buy” products from Israel.
The Daily Mail quoted him earlier this year as saying: “It’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel and you can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media, whether it’s the press or internet, can just spread lie after lie after lie.”
This week, Breitbart London reported that Jewish voters have largely “deserted” the Labour Party in response to allegations of antisemitism under Corbyn’s leadership, with just six per cent of Jewish voters supporting the party.
One Jewish voter said: “I am proud to be a British Jew, but for the first time, it’s also unnerving. Three of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors, and this country has been so good to them. I feel privileged to be part of this country, but it is shocking to see someone like Corbyn leading one of the main political parties.”
In response to the Labour Party’s projected stunning defeat, Jeremy Man Saltan, a Jewish political strategist wrote on Twitter: “If exit polls are correct the Labour Party has received the least amount of seats since 1935. Antisemitism doesn’t pay.”