By Dominic Ponsford
London mayor Ken Livingstone has renewed his Nazi jibes against Associated Newspapers after lodging an appeal against his one-month suspension for likening a Jewish Evening Standard reporter to a concentration camp guard.
The adjudication panel of the Standards Board opted to suspend Livingstone from office for a month in punishment for the comments he made to reporter Oliver Finegold. He is also understood to be facing a legal costs bill of £80,000.
On Friday, the Standard branded Livingstone a liar for claiming that Finegold had sworn at him. It also called him a hypocrite and a coward.
This week Livingstone responded by saying that Standard editor Veronica Wadley has had "an irony bypass" and accused her of "venom" in the way the Standard writes about him. He also said that Associated Newspapers "has a long history of anti-semitism and support for fascism" — a reference to its editorial stance in the 1930s.
The row started in February last year when the mayor was asked for a comment by Finegold as he left a party.
In a taped exchange, Livingstone asked Finegold if he had ever been a German war criminal. Finegold said he objected to the remark because he was Jewish, to which Livingstone said: "Ah, well you might be but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren’t you?".
Finegold wrote up the story for the next day’s Evening Standard. Although the paper decided not to publish, it is believed that a member of staff who had access to the paper’s content editor system leaked it to The Guardian.