Jewish Chronicle editor says it is 'surreal' to be attacked by Ken Livingstone for 'reporting his words'

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard has expressed his bemusement at being blamed by former London mayor Ken Livingstone for the anti-semitism row which saw him suspended from the Labour Party.

Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party over comments made on BBC London in April 2016.

He said: “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Livingstone stands be his comments and yesterday the Labour Party opted to continue his suspension for another year.

Before the hearing he told BBC Radio 4: “What caused offence were those people who opened the page of the Jewish Chroncile and saw the claim that I said Hitler was a Zionist, the claim that I said Jews were the same as Nazis and one week later the article saying I had said that hating Jews in Israel wasn’t anti-semitic.”

Asked whether he blamed the Jewish Chronicle for the damage done to the Labour Party by the furore, he said: “Yes by printing a lie. Not just the Jewish Chronicle, the main cause of all this were those Labour MPs who initiated the lie that I said Hitler was a Zionist.”

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard said in a comment piece: “It’s somewhat surreal to be accused by Ken Livingstone of fomenting an uproar against him by…reporting his words.”

He added: “Let’s be clear. Not once since he began his tour of radio and TV studios last April to share his view of Hitler and the Zionists with the rest of us – a tour that has so far lasted almost a year and shows no signs of ever stopping – has Mr Livingstone, or anyone connected with him, ever suggested a single inaccuracy in our reporting of his words…

“… it was not until a week after Mr Livingstone had first started speaking about Hitler that the JC was first able to cover it in print. We covered it extensively, of course. But by then the intense furore was long over.”

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